Global Power Project: Banking on Influence With Bank of America

Thursday, 18 July 2013 09:31By Andrew Gavin

Marshall, Occupy | News Analysis

(Photo: Frank Kehren / Flickr)This

July, Bank of America

was expecting to report an earnings increase of 32% from last year. The Washington Business Journal declared the bank among the top 10 ―most improved brands‖ of the year. Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the United States following JPMorgan Chase. So why does this bank deserve such an ―improved‖ reputation? Perhaps it's worth looking at a little of the bank’s record for some clarity. During the first year of the global financial crisis, which the big banks helped to create and which they profited enormously from, the government stepped in to bail out Bank of America. They rewarded the bank $20 billion for its massive financial crimes, as well as a special guarantee for nearly $100 billion of potential losses on the balance sheets of Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America acquired during the crisis. As it turns out, Bank of America and other big banks continue to get "backdoor bailouts" through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which acts as a legal guarantor and protector of the Wall Street chain gang of criminal conglomerates. The bank was recently added to a list, compiled by a corporate watchdog group, of the "dirty dozen" criminal financial institutions for its role deceiving investors, committing mortgage and foreclosure abuses and engaging in municipal bond rigging and illegal payments. When Matt Taibbi wrote in Rolling Stone that Bank of America was ―a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time,‖ he wasn't

Wells Fargo and Citigroup – agreed to pay a $25 billion settlement with the government over ―abusive mortgage practices. Bank of America.‖ In January. The bank foreclosed on tens of thousands of Americans through a ―mass perjury‖ scheme and pushed worthless mortgages on pension funds and unions. the Business Council. anyone who ―questioned the ethics‖ of the bank's practices was summarily fired .6 billion to the government-controlled mortgage company Fannie Mae in response to a legal battle over ―bad loans. government regulators indicated they would not hold the bank responsible for its actions. fraudulently denying loan modifications and paying bonuses to staff who pushed people into foreclosure.S.‖ Of course. JPMorgan.‖ In June of 2013. But so too do its affiliations with dominant national and international organizations. Bank of America settled to pay $11. Deere & Company. six former BofA employees and one contractor issued sworn statements in which they accused the bank of lying to homeowners. Catalyst.‖ Further. Brookings Institution. Four of the individuals who hold leadership positions at BofA are also affiliated with the major foreign-policy think tank in the United States: the Council on Foreign Relations. institutionalizing the bank within the larger global power structures and the elites who run them. BAE Systems. Harvard. and the Bank also ―gave employees gift cards to retail stores like Target or Bed Bath and Beyond as rewards for placing accounts into foreclosure. Sara Lee Corporation. in a twist of fine news for the bank. DuPont. the World Economic Forum. the World Wildlife Fund. The FBI confirmed that BofA was involved in laundering drug money for the Los Zetas drug cartel in Mexico. has been accused of laundering money for Mexican drug cartels. another major financial institution. Walt Disney Company.‖ the Department of Justice granted the banks what amounted to legal immunity ―from civil government claims over faulty foreclosures. One of the whistleblowers commented. As several big banks – including BofA.exaggerating. and BlackRock.S. Monsanto. President Obama’s Council on Jobs and . Banking on Influence So how does a massive criminal enterprise engaging in large-scale fraud.a policy that led to a lawsuit in which homeowners accused the bank of racketeering ―to defraud homeowners who sought modifications and then acted as the kingpin of that [racketeering] enterprise. Research conducted for the Global Power Project found 28 individuals at Bank of America. it doesn’t end there.‖ Employees that pushed ten or more homeowners per month into foreclosure would receive a $500 bonus. General Dynamics. Stanford University. Duke University. racketeering and money laundering get a free pass from the U. However. The following institutions each also hold one individual affiliated with Bank of America: Royal Dutch Shell. ―we were told to lie to customers. U. along with multiple other big banks. the President’s Export Council. government? The bank’s financial clout in the economy certainly plays a part. Three individuals are connected to Morgan Stanley. CBS Corporation. with institutional affiliations. while two affiliations exist with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (promoting big business "solutions" to environmental crises). including executives and members of board of directors.

and is a member of the International Advisory Council of the Brookings Institution. Goldman Sachs. is the Chairman of the Board of Bank of America and a director of Royal Dutch Shell. Carlyle Group. as well as a member of the board of directors of the Commission of the 21st Century Economy. Charles O. also sitting on the board of directors of Booz Allen Hamilton. and was the CEO of DuPont from 1998 to 2009. He was the former Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. and a member of the Advisory Council of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Financial Services Forum. a member of the board of governors of the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi. the Society of Chemical Industry. Rossotti is a senior adviser to the Carlyle Group and was the Commissioner of the IRS from 1997 to 2002. Jr. Lozano was a member of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board from 2009 2011. the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. the International Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the International Advisory Board of the National Bank of Kuwait. and a member of the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group. Monica C. Quorum Management . a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry for the Government of Indi a. and is a member of the board of directors of the National Geographic Education Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). the Rockefeller Foundation. a Trustee of the University of Southern California and a director of the Weingart Foundation. He is a member of the Global Board of Advisors of the Council on Foreign Relations. Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management. Ambani is a member of the board of Bank of America and is the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries. as well as a member of the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company. Climate Works Foundation. Holliday. and has since been a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Charles O. the Business Council. Co-Chair of the Japan-India Business Leader’s Forum. Holliday is a director of Deere & Company. CEOs Forum. Ambani is also a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum. a member of the International Advisory Board of the National Bank of Kuwait. a member of the board of Planet Forward. Booz Allen Hamilton. Additionally Ambani is a member of the Business Council. Brian T. Mukesh D. a member of the Indo-U. Lozano is Chairman and CEO of ImpreMedia and CEO of La Opinion. PepsiCo. He is currently a member of the Business Roundtable and Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Forum.Competitiveness. Business Roundtable. and is a founding member of the International Business Council. Meet the Elites Bank of America’s CEO. was a former executive vice president at Fleet Boston and director of BlackRock. Catalyst.S. She is also a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California. Moynihan. as well as being a member of the International Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Vice Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. the IndiaRussia CEO Council.

along with BofA board member Charles K. also sits on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. and former Vice President of General Dynamics. Hudson sits on the board of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and on the executive committee of the Aerospace Industries Association. . In terms of the media reporting on Bank of America's crimes. Too big to jail. and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Gifford — who sits on the board of directors of CBS Corporation — signal that a ―fair‖ portrayal of the bank's activities aren't exactly what the public should expect. in short. Anne M. Surely it's comforting to know that a woman who sits on the board of BofA. money laundering. Primatics Financial and AES Corporation. is the President and CEO of the military contractor BAE Systems. advising the president as to how to appropriately manage the economic "recovery". a profound symbol of much that is wrong on Wall Street: massive fraud.Solutions. CVS Caremark Corporation. Banking on America? Bank of America is. Finucance. racketeering. like all big banks in our era. who is the Global Strategy and Marketing Officer at Bank of America. And too connected to change. chemical companies and government circles. Linda P. Kennedy Library Foundation. is also a director of Partners HealthCare System. Lozano. the American Ireland Fund. and weighty influence in Washington and beyond. a trustee of Stonehill College and Carnegie Hall. think tanks. What is clear is that Bank of America. Finucance sits on the boards of the John F. as CEO of a media company and board member of the Walt Disney Company. Monica Lozano. and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a member of the University of Florida Foundation Board and the International Women’s Forum. He too is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. The bank is too big to fail. military industrial complex. who sits on the board of BofA. isn't merely a financial institution but simultaneously acts as an influential institution in the media. Hudson. conspiracy. the International Center of Journalists.

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