Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Wikileaks Spooks Big Banks
Wikileaks Spooks Big Banks
“Too big to fail” banks in America have much to fear from Wikileaks’ promised document dump scheduled for early in 2011. My book “Secrets of the Skim” outlines some of the misfeasance likely to be made public by Wikileaks. The website, run by Jillian Assange, claims to have in their possession documents that will expose abhorrent behavior by executives at one of America’s banking behemoths. Mr. Assange was quoted as saying, "it will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume."
Consensus seems to be that the bank in question is Bank of America. This speculation is fueled by comments Assange made about a year ago. The timing of that statement seems to preclude the subject matter being the auto signing of foreclosure documents. Since Mr. Assange has wryly theorized that his disclosures would bring down “one or two banks” my guess is he has some scoop on Merrill Lynch. Assuming Bank of America is involved and only one executive’s hard drive is in Wikileaks’ hands, it is fair to speculate the target only gets plural if Merrill Lynch is boiling again.
Having had a front row seat at the Merrill Lynch masquerade, I suspect these documents will disclose how the elitist institutional financiers in this country operate in conflict with their client’s interest. It is a secret the industry is desperately trying to keep from the public and the single aspect of their business practices that would demand immediate regulatory action. It is the type document dump that fits Wikileaks’ MO as well.
These institutions have scattered billions of dollars down Madison Avenue to create an image to engender public trust and to cloak their real agendas. Their image is a bought and paid for house of cards. Bank of America’s cards are particularly shaky right now.
Wall Street spent millions on lobbyist to shape the financial reform legislation to avoid having to adhere to the “fiduciary” standard. If Wikileaks has copies of an executive’s documents communicating, in a transparent way, concerns about the possibility and ramifications of such legislation it would be explosive. These documents would most likely expose why having to act in their client’s best interest is the death nail to the “too big to fail” business model. The industry, Bank of America in particular, is aware of this meteorite heading for their earth. Mr. Assange’s destruction of one or two banks could (should) turn into the destruction of a business model that encompasses Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Wells Fargo Advisors, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Keegan and UBS.
The wirehouse wealth management industry is blinded by an innate hubris that bellows behind the closed doors high a top the enclaves on Wall Street. As I describe in “Secrets of the Skim” these guys have a sense of entitlement when it comes to collecting their “skim” off of our nation’s financial dealings that will infuriate American investors. Joking about the lame deals closed to earn high commissions and laughing at their good fortune of earning commissions on “blown up” client accounts is common place among certain bankers (in closely guarded circles).
Assange is, by now, well aware he’s holding a straight flush and is boldly playing up his hand. He’s not bluffing. You can bet banks are scurrying to find out who is in his crosshairs and budgeting funds for damage control. This episode could cost a pretty penny and the careers of a few unfortunates who are caught with their nickers down. The bank will make examples of these rogues and proclaim their ranks free from such rascals.
The insulated bankers will plan to spread a few billion more down Madison Avenue and in the halls of Congress to regain their footing. They figure an innocuous fee slipped deep into a disclosure form will crank out the needed dollars. Moves like this make bankers laugh the loudest behind their contrite expressions. Why not? It has worked so well in the past.
I despise Assange and Wikileaks for betraying US national security and betraying America. He should be stopped at all cost; right after he publishes these documents stolen from this “too big to fail” monster bank that threatens our markets and free enterprise system. Assange owes America. It’s time Americans (and the scores of honest bankers) to have the last laugh.