WHY DO WE CALL THEM BANKS? | Setback for Bank of America in a Lawsuit Filed by MBIA.

10 Jan

From: Charles Cox [mailto:charles@bayliving.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:10 PM
To: Charles Cox
Subject: WHY DO WE CALL THEM BANKS? | Setback for Bank of America in a Lawsuit Filed by MBIA.


by Neil Garfield

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wiley makes a very good point and one which ought to be considered strategically when referring to these entities in court, in articles, pleadings, memos etc. By conceding that they acted as banks, we grant them credibility they don’t deserve. Many of the entities are not even financial institutions in the true sense of the words. Many of them never did any lending and take no deposits. They were brokers, which is the most favorable way of describing the loan originator that pretender to be the lender at closing. The Banks didn’t lend any money in these securitized deals — they brokered it through conduits and in many cases never even handled the money much less funded the loan.

It would be wise to take Wiley’s advice. He is getting a lot of traction in St Louis.

They’re Not Banks – Introducing the Money Changers

Posted by Dale Wiley

As we think about how to attack the never-ending fraud brought by the financial sector, I realized something that had been brewing in my brain for some time. We sometimes overlook the power of words and their utility in a battle.

The thought came to me when I *had* to get something with one of my kids and we were forced to go to Wal-Mart. As I walked into that fluorescent behemoth blur, here was my thought.

Wal-Mart sells groceries, but it’s not a grocery store. It sells hardware, but it’s not a hardware store. It sells clothes, but it’s not a clothes store. What is it?

It’s a Wal-Mart. It is sui generis. Wal-Mart has traits from other businesses, but it has morphed into its own creation. We grew up knowing and identifying the places we went by what they sold and we still tend to want to think of things in this way. But they’re not that way anymore.

This sounds simple, but think of its applications in our context.

We have allowed Bank of America and Citi and Chase and all the other grotesque Molochs to call themselves banks. THEY’RE NOT.

They are no more banks than Wal-Mart is a grocery store. It may sell groceries, but what we have come to know and love from a grocery store has been surgically removed from Wal-Mart.

Same thing here. Bank of America is not a bank; it is a global financial monster who may happen to provide some banking services.

"Bank" is still a word in the American lexicon that connotes safety and security. It’s money in the bank, we say. Take it to the bank, we say, meaning that something is sure.

And there are still banks, ones who know their customers, hold their own notes and act in "bank-like" ways. Those are entities we generally don’t have much problem with. They may not always act like we want them to, but they are not involved in the whole-sale fraud that our adversaries are.

They didn’t act as banks in these transactions. They bundled the money and sold it, and now they act as bill collectors. That doesn’t make them a bank any more than selling a cup of coffee would make McDonald’s a coffee house.

They’re not banks. We should quit giving them the benefit of this positive connotation. I am fully convinced that part of our problem in explaining this to the American public is that they are used to not questioning bankers and doctors. They need to know that these aren’t bankers.

We need a new term. Financial machine? Financial monster? Money changers? We need something to use to distinguish them from traditional banking, and something that emphasizes their role in this situation.

I’m going to suggest "Money Changers." I’m not calling them banks anymore. They don’t deserve it.


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