There are still a few enforcement actions ongoing over the Wells Fargo fake account fiasco, primarily individual cases against senior officials from a few agencies who haven’t previously settled the charges.
It is so sad to say, but a reality never-the-less, there are so many major banking fiascos with such a wide range of willing participants that it is impossible to keep straight the players and disasters and fines based just on memory.
So, that means I have a spreadsheet to track the willful disasters I’ve been following.
My tally does not include all the billions of dollars paid to settle mortgage issues arising from the Great Recession. That is another massive set of disasters all by itself.
Here is my running tally of the amount of stockholder equity wasted for a range of different debacles. Amounts in millions of dollars:
There is a long list of banking scandals in the last decade or so with a long list of banks choosing to play in each of the fiascos. Plenty of banks have joined multiple schemes.
The time I’ve allocated to watching the apparently unending disasters has been concentrated on the money laundering and interest rate / exchange rate / pricing manipulation messes, along with the unending variations of cheat-your-customer plans at Wells Fargo.
Until now I’ve not been focused on the bribery disaster involving 1MDB’s shenanigans in Malaysia. If you’ve not tuned in, you can categorize this mess in the international corruption and bribery sector of bank fiascos.
On 10/23/20 Goldman settled up with the U.S. and several other national governments. The bank agreed to clawback $174M from several executives.
They also admitted breaking U.S. corruption laws, specifically with a plea of guilty to charges of conspiring to violate antibribery laws. To keep the parent company in business it was actually a subsidiary of Goldman who entered a guilty plea. Only two executives have been hit with criminal charges.
The feds say billions were stolen from 1MDB and bribes aggregating $1.6B were paid to various government officials around the world.
Financial penalties paid by Goldman:
$2.9B – US Department of Justice and other regulators around the world
From browsing headlines it looks like there are a few other fines but those are in the mere $50M or so range. Chump change for the big banks.
So, five and a half billion dollars of stockholder money burned by bribery and corruption. The irritated populists will loudly remind us that only two executives, merely two, have drawn criminal charges in the U.S.
For well over a year and a half lots of life has been happening to me. Have had to set priorities on what I can and cannot do, which means I’ve not been focusing on the ongoing fiascos and foolishness and waste as the big banks get caught with a never ending list of laws they have violated in stupendously spectacular ways.
Yet another in a string of money laundering settlements hit the news yesterday which drew my attention. So, I’ll try to do a little catch-up on the billions of stockholder dollars the big money banks have been continually throwing on the bonfire over the last two years.
The Federal Reserve will prohibit Wells Fargo from growing in size past its $1.95 trillion asset base in place as of 12/31/17. That means any gains from new deposits must be offset by selling off other assets and liquidating some liabilities.
In addition, the bank will be replacing three directors by April who previously announced their retirement and replacing another director by December 2018.
When I look at the news about Wells Fargo over the last few months, it is amazing to see the number of individual messes the bank has and the amount of time it is taking to get past the issues. Also odd is that new issues are surfacing every month or two. Here are a few articles that I notices in the last month:
I have accumulated a long list of articles on the mess Wells Fargo has create for itself. Here is the rest of the articles I’ve gathered in the last few months, including two new fiascos. Previous list of articles I’m catching up on are found here.
I’ve been sitting on a string of articles describing the mess Wells Fargo has created for itself by opening accounts without customers’ permission. That issue keeps hanging around like a bad hacking cough.
At the same time some new fiascos have surfaced.
It is time to get caught up, so here are some articles I saw a few months ago:
4/4/17 – Wells Fargo advertisement in Wall Street Journal – The bank published a full-page public letter from the CEO.
He describe the steps taken by the bank to make things right. I will paraphrase or nearly quote the steps:
The Wells Fargo fake account fiasco doesn’t seem to be generating any more major headlines. Still some notable news if you go several pages into the second section of the WSJ. Also, the WF living trust plan got a failing grade.