Bank of America

Government auditors are investigating exclusive contracts held by Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to provide financial services inside federal prisons…Bank of America has been paid at least $76.3 million by Treasury to manage inmates’ accounts, money transfers, email service and other technology inside the 121 facilities managed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The contract has been amended 22 times since it was awarded without competitive bidding in 2000. The accounts hold the money inmates earn from prison jobs paying as little as 12 cents an hour and supplemental funds sent by family and friends. Inmates use the money for clothing, phone calls, food and other expenses. Treasury says the payments to Bank of America were reimbursed by the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons’ parent agency. JPMorgan issues debit cards to inmates when they are released that contain the balance remaining in their prison accounts. JPMorgan’s original contract was awarded in 1998 and amended at least 14 times. It was re-upped in 2008 and amended at least four times since then. [Center For Public Integrity]

  • 30 Sep 2014 at 1:45 PM
  • Banks

BofA Kinda Forgot That Structured Notes Mature

Ah, 2009: Heady times at Bank of America, what with Merrill Lynch being dropped (/forced) into their lap and all. Still, it does seem rather a big oversight to have failed to account for the fact that bonds and options, you know, don’t last forever—and then to have missed it for four years and almost $4 billion. Read more »

Over the last several years, Bank of America has paid something like $827 billion in fines and settlements, including $16.65 billion just last month. So while another billion here or there would represent but a drop in the bucket, you can sort of understand why Moynihan et al would be done, emotionally, cutting these checks and why they would try and get out of whatever penalties they can, however thin the arguments for doing so (“Just put us out of our misery already”) may be. Unfortunately, today is apparently not Moynihan’s day and tomorrow’s not looking very good either. Read more »

  • 10 Sep 2014 at 3:17 PM

Layoffs Watch ’14: Bank of America

Traders at at the House of Moynihan should reportedly gird their loins as of next Monday. Read more »

In June 2008, at the last Countrywide shareholder meeting after the company had been bought by Bank of America, founder Angelo Mozilo made a bold statement, telling those assembled, “[Bank of America] will reap the benefits of what we have sowed.” While one might quibble over the definition of the word “benefit,” the bank was unquestionably on the reaping end of what Mozilo and Co had sowed, namely a lot of predatory lending and mortgage messiness that ultimately grew and blossomed into approximately $71 billion worth of fines and BofA CEO Brian Moynihan’s near-nervous breakdown. Though mum when Bank of America was writing checks to resolve issues it inherited from CFC, Mozilo did deign to pick up the phone and chat with Bloomberg last week, following the news that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles intends to sue him over the not-so-great job he did. And thank god he did, because there is a lot we needed to be filled in on re: what Ang has been doing/thinking/feeling these last 6 years.

  • Like, his plans to build an old-timey Western town: “…a project in Templeton, a small Southern California town where he’s requested permits to build a two-story retail and office building on a vacant lot. Architectural sketches show a style suited for a quaint Western main street. ‘It’s a throwback to a century ago,’ Mozilo said. ‘I love America. I love everything about America.'”
  • His belief in, if not consumption of, Taco Bell: “One investment is a stake in a building that houses a Taco Bell outside Phoenix. Mozilo said he hasn’t eaten there because he stays away from chicken and beef.
  • His work giving the next generation a crash course in Finance 101: Mozilo Style: “Mozilo decided to teach undergraduates what he knows about finance last year. The former trustee of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, said he spent about two weeks in Italy at Gonzaga-in-Florence, housed in the Mozilo Center overlooking a 16th-century Medici garden. ‘I taught them the basics of finance based on my own experiences,’ he said. ‘I really enjoyed being among them. It was very refreshing for me.'”

The most interesting development, however, is probably his newfound penchant for speaking in the third person when denying any and all blame re: what went down at Countrywide. In short, Mozilo thinks those pointing fingers should go home and take a good look in the mirror. Read more »

Earlier this month, Bank of America and the U.S. announced a landmark settlement wherein the bank agreed to pay $16.65 billion to settle allegations re: some not great mortgage securities it sold back in the day. Many an article was written about how this was the last bit of legal messiness BofA had to get through before it could turn its attention back to whatever it is it does when it’s not negotiating multi-billion dollar fines, which it’s done a lot over the past several years. And sure, this was probably the last 10-figure check Brian Moynihan will have to write for a while, but surely there will be other, smaller, mere multi-million dollar lawsuits that pop up along the way, to say nothing of all the other banks’ outstanding suits and other stuff coming down the pipeline we don’t yet know about. Barclays, for example, is gonna want to put that dark pool stuff behind it, as will Credit Suisse, UBS, and Deutsche Bank, should anything come of their investigations. Point is, the era of banks coughing up money to settle wrondoing on the regular is far from over, and inspired by what appears to be a new column at the Journal called “Crystal Ball,” today we’d like to introduce, “You Write The Story,” which, when the appropriate time comes, will go something like this: Read more »

The nearly $17 billion that Brian Moynihan & co. will pay to make the albatross of Countrywide and Angelo Mozilo go away forever is actually closer to $12 billion, thanks to the tax-deductibility of ordinary business expenses like helping out underwater mortgageholders under duress ($7 billion) and compensatory matters ($4.63 billion). Read more »