Bank Of America CEO: The Bush Administration Made Me Do It!

Bank Of America CEO: The Bush Administration Made Me Do It!

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office is at it again. They’ve been investigating the circumstances that led to the merger of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch and the subsequent bonus payments to executives. In a letter to Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Cuomo quotes Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis as saying that former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson threatened him with removal from his position and mass firing of the board and senior management if he didn’t allow the merger to go through.

Government To Banks: Why Are You Making Predatory Loans With Taxpayer Money?

Government To Banks: Why Are You Making Predatory Loans With Taxpayer Money?

The bailed-out banks have found a new way to annoy the government, according to the Congressional Oversight Panel, the body named by Congress to oversee the federal bailout. Chair of the committee and friend of the blog, Elizabeth Warren, is concerned that the same people who are subsidizing the banks are being targeted by abusive lending practices, says the Wall Street Journal

Merrill Lynch CEO: "Nothing Happened In The World Or The Economy" That Would Justify Suspending Bonuses

Merrill Lynch CEO: "Nothing Happened In The World Or The Economy" That Would Justify Suspending Bonuses

You know how Merrill Lynch recently lost $15 billion? Remember how we’re in a unbelievably huge global financial crisis that threatens to unravel the fabric of our economy? John Thain says that’s no reason not to pay billions of dollars in bonuses.

NY AG: Before Losing $15 Billion, Merrill Lynch Quietly Made 696 Employees Millionaires

NY AG: Before Losing $15 Billion, Merrill Lynch Quietly Made 696 Employees Millionaires

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo wrote a letter yesterday to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), head of the House Financial Services Committee, (which is currently holding hearings Washington on how banks are spending bailout funds.) In the letter, Cuomo expresses concern that Merrill Lynch moved up their bonus schedule so that they could make sure that taxpayers would get the bill.

Banking Bailout Party: New Details Emerge

Banking Bailout Party: New Details Emerge

The New York Times has details about the new bailout plan Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is scheduled to talk about later today. Here’s a rundown of what’s on the menu:

8 Banks Took $153.4 Billion In Tax Payer Money, Spent $845 Million On Naming Rights

8 Banks Took $153.4 Billion In Tax Payer Money, Spent $845 Million On Naming Rights

Should bailout out banks be buying naming rights? Dennis Kucinich doesn’t think so, and last week he urged the Treasury department to cancel one such deal between Citibank and the New York Mets. Now Bloomberg says that seven more bailed out banks are spending money on stadium rights.

Despite Economic Disaster, Wall Street Collected $18.4 Billion In Bonuses

Despite Economic Disaster, Wall Street Collected $18.4 Billion In Bonuses

Bonuses are for a job well done, right? Well, despite the economic disaster, it seems that the folks on Wall Street rewarded themselves with $18.4 billion in bonuses in 2008, which is around the same amount as they received in 2004 — when the Dow was “flying above 10,000, on its way to a record high,” says the New York Times.

9 In 10 Executives At Bailed-Out Banks Kept Their Jobs

9 In 10 Executives At Bailed-Out Banks Kept Their Jobs

Over 100,000 people have been laid off by banks, but 9 in 10 executives at banks that accepted bailout money are still working says the Associated Press.

Bank Of America Fires Former Merrill Lynch CEO

Bank Of America Fires Former Merrill Lynch CEO

It seems that Bank of America didn’t really appreciate that unexpected $15.4 billion dollar 4th quarter loss by Merrill Lynch — because its former CEO, John Thain has been shown the door.

Federal Reserve: Don't Get Excited, We're Not Done Bailing Out Banks Yet

Federal Reserve: Don't Get Excited, We're Not Done Bailing Out Banks Yet

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that the $800 billion stimulus plan being discussed by the new administration might “provide a significant boost to economic activity,” but that it wouldn’t work without more bank bailouts.

What Else Can $700 Billion Buy?

What Else Can $700 Billion Buy?

A while back the New York Times was concerned about the cost of the Iraq War and published some estimates of what else we could have bought with that money. We didn’t find that very interesting at the time, but now, while trying to wrap our minds around just how effing huge the $700 billion proposed bailout of Wall Street really is, we decided to revisit that article. Here’s what you can buy for less than $700 billion, according to the New York Times.