Matt Taibbi starts his new Rolling Stone article with a Shock and Awe-style barrage of over-the-top analogies:
At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time… Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they’ll be into some shit again: This bank is like the world’s worst-behaved teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt’s funeral. They’re out of control, yet they’ll never do time or go out of business, because the government remains creepily committed to their survival, like overindulgent parents who refuse to believe their 40-year-old live-at-home son could possibly be responsible for those dead hookers in the backyard…
Then Tiabbi dissects BofA’s large-scale scams and puts to rest the rumor that the Obama administration ever intended to make the bank pay back most of the money it stole. He takes a moment to strafe Hugh McColl, the driving force behind BofA’s expansion, a swaggering sack of shit who rewarded successful underlings with crystal hand grenades. He drops a cluster bomb on what’s left of BofA’s credibility:
In sum, Bank of America torched dozens of institutional investors with billions in worthless loans, repeatedly refused to abide by contractual obligations to buy them back, evaded hundreds of millions in local fees and taxes, pushed tens of thousands of people into foreclosure using phony documents, ignored multiple court orders to stop its illegal robo-signing, and exploited President Obama’s signature mortgage-relief program. The bank fixed the bids on bonds for schools and cities and utilities all over America, and even conspired to try to game the game itself – by fixing global interest rates!
All this before he even gets to TARP. Taibbi’s piece is both hilarious and infuriating, an indictment of a “too-big-too-fail” bank and the scoundrels in government who enable its criminality. Read the whole thing, but only if you have a strong stomach.
Footnote: Sorry about the excessive combat jargon. I’d been reading about the battle of Stalingrad. The Germans had just eaten the last of their horses.