Thursday, April 1, 2010
All Hail Bank of America
If you've seen Bank of America's new "we are here for you" commercials, you know that this massive, money-glutted credit company/investment bank/ blood-sucking whore of a corporation thinks it deserves credit for pretty much keeping the US Economy from falling into the abyss these days.
"Homeowners: When you are ready to refinance..."" the narrator announces, showing one prospective small business owner (they are the backbone of America, you know) after another shaking hands with smiling, well-dressed Bank of America toadies, celebrating the fact that they've just sealed a pact with the devil ----errr, I mean, taken out a loan from Bank of America.
"We've got money to lend!" is the message. Yeah, no kidding. In the spring of 2009, Bank of America fell ass-backwards into Money to Lend, in the form of a $20 billion bailout check from the US Government courtesy of the TARP program. That doesn't mean BOA has $20 billion to lend though- first it had to hand off $700 million in bonus checks to the vultures over at newly-acquired Merrill Lynch. Then it had to pay a $33 million fine for failing to disclose the specifics of these bonus payments to their benefactors (you and me, if you live in the United States of Corporate America.)
Bank of America is the real hero of our age, swooping in to save us from another Great Depression by being willing to loan us our own money, at significant interest, of course. Makes you feel warm all over, doesn't it? You'll excuse me, BOA, if I don't sponsor you for the Congressional Medal of Freedom in the near future. I don't know- there's just something about a guy picking my pocket and then offering to loan me the money he took that doesn't quite sit right. I'm sure it's just me.
Full Disclosure-- I took out a Bank of America debt consolidation loan in 2002, to help pay for my Congressional campaign and reduce credit card debt. BOA wanted me to pay it off in $221 per month installments for-- well, roughly forever. I paid it off at the rate of $600 per month, much to the displeasure of BOA pencil-pushers, who never tired of sending me "convenience checks" and "helpful reminders" that I could "skip a payment" whenever I wished and that I really didn't "need" to send more than the minimum. No problem- that was just doing business. But you'd think they'd have learned just a LITTLE humility after they had to ask ME for a loan.