In the realm of prevarication, there are deceivers, fibbers, liars… and Bank of America.
For weeks, this financial behemoth has been running a nationwide PR blitz, portraying itself as a loveable bunch of public-spirited bankers never mind its two taxpayer bailouts, constant fee gouging, illegal foreclosures on homeowners, firing of 36,000 employees, etc. Before you believe a word that these “truth adjusters” say, note that they’ve even been caught lying outright to their own shareholders, the owners of the bank!
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Following the 2007-2008 Wall Street collapse, not only did BOA get a $15 billion bailout, but it was also allowed to get bigger by snapping up the foundering investment giant, Merrill Lynch. To win shareholder approval of this merger, the bank’s top executives issued a rosy assessment of the takeover, promising golden profits within a year or so.
Court documents in a shareholder lawsuit, however, recently revealed that the honchos, including the CEO, knew at the time of the shareholder vote that the numbers were “materially false” and that swallowing Merrill would choke the owners with billions of dollars in losses. Moreover, the deal struck by the geniuses at the top was so bad that they knew they would have to get a second federal bailout of $20 billion to stave off total collapse. Shareholders, who were told none of this, unwittingly voted to okay the merger.
Even BOA’s top lawyer was kept in the dark. When he learned of the big lie two days after the shareholder vote, he tried to talk to top executives about the need to admit the ruse. Instead, the next day, the lawyer was summarily fired and escorted from the bank without even being allowed to collect his personal belongings.
Forget the PR perfume that BOA’s now spritzing around, Bank of America stinks to its core.
“Merrill Loses Were Hidden Before Merger,” New York Times, June 4, 2012.
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