Why The Latest Big Bank Scandal Is Worse Than Usual

Yesterday, Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) – America’s third-largest bank by assets and one of the “Big Six” too big to fail banks – got hit with a $190 million fine from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This isn’t surprising. In fact, big banks get hit with hefty fines for shady activity all the time.

But yesterday’s judgment against Wells Fargo is different. And the reason why is downright disturbing.

What happened at Wells Fargo is an indication that the corrupt culture of big banksters is so pervasive that it infects everyone, from the billionaires at the top all the way down to salespeople on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder.

Today, I want to take a close look at Wells Fargo’s latest misstep, and contrast it with some other big bank skullduggery to show you just how different this scheme is than what we’ve seen in the past – and why that’s a huge problem.

Let’s take a look…

Bankers Gonna Bank

We’ve been around this particular block many, many times here at Insights & Indictments. Too many to count.

A bank misbehaves, gets caught, incurs a fine that amounts to a slap on the wrist, then goes back to testing the limits of government regulation and the reach of government power around the world.

As many of you know, Deutsche Bank (DB) (which I recently called the world’s most dangerous bank) is one of the absolute worst offenders. Since 2008, DB has paid more than $9 billion in fines and settlements to government regulators in the U.S. and Europe.

You might be thinking that $9 billion sounds a lot like government overreach. And normally, I’d be right there with you.

But DB has been the undisputed king of corruption, and has been caught scheming to manipulate the price of gold and silver, defrauding mortgage companies, and violating U.S. sanctions by trading in Iran, Syria, Libya, Myanmar, and Sudan. DB was also punished to the tune of $2.5 billion for its role in manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, which is the interest rate that banks charge one another

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Susan Miller 4 years ago Member's comment

As long as the rewards #bankers reap for breaking the law, far outpace any penalties they may incur, this horrendous behavior will continue. #wellsfargo $WFC $DB $HSBC