Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/28/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Is your bank on the list?

Is your bank evil? For the past several years, large banks have been engaging in a wide range of abusive and illegal practices which have cost them more than $10.7 billion in fines this year alone. Those offenses range from illegal foreclosures to laundering money for Cuba and Iran.

Is your bank evil?

Is your bank evil?

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/28/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: banks, fines, evil, manipulation, fraud, ethics, mortgage, subprime


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Big finance, from the stock market to the banks, is losing the confidence of the consumer. According to news reports on MSNBC, more Americans today are pulling their money out of the stock market than ever before. Banks are also being hit repeatedly with fines from the government and lawsuits from consumers.

What's going on in our financial sector?

One of the things that made America such a great country and an economic powerhouse, has been public accessibility to the stock market. Throughout the 20th century, and particularly in the last few decades, the public has been able to invest private capital into markets right alongside billionaires like Warren Buffet and Donald Trump.

The development of electronic trading software for personal computers and the internet has allowed billions of dollars, possibly trillions, to flow into the stock market and into banks. This infusion of capital has fueled much of the prosperity of the past few decades, a prosperity enjoyed by most, even in the face of recession.

However, some have taken liberties with the money. Bernie Madoff comes to mind, however he was not alone in his endeavors, nor was he an anomaly. Entire financial institutions have been cheating consumers and flaunting the law - and without the risk of prison.

Consider these example cases and the sometimes record-breaking fines associated with them:

-    $175 million paid by Wells Fargo to settle cases with minority homeowners who were sold subprime mortgages.

-    $210 million paid by Bank of New York Mellon for directing customers to Bernie Madoff.

-    $335 Million paid by Deutsche Bank and Flagstar for selling risky mortgages without disclosing that level of risk to buyers.

-    $1.2 billion paid by UBS for manipulating global interest rates.

-    $3.2 billion paid by HSBC, ING, and Standard Chartered for laundering money for Cuba and Iran.

-    Another $5 billion paid by banks for various violations especially associated with the subprime mortgage market.


Note that these fines are only those paid to the U.S. treasury and interests. They do not include fines paid to European regulators.

And despite the size of these fines, the banking sector raked in some $167.7 billion in profits throughout 2012. They can easily afford the fines.

The liberties go well beyond manipulating home buyers and interest rates. Loopholes and exploits associated with electronic trading also allow unscrupulous traders to take advantage of the system.

In all, Americans are being fleeced. They may not be able to articulate just why or how, but there's a feeling of gloom in the public sector that breeds mistrust of large banks and financial institutions.

The greater problem may be the overwhelming focus on fiduciary responsibility, which is to maximize profits, without a corresponding focus on ethics. Our financial institutions reward profits and investors expect ever-increasing returns. This provides incentive, even pressure, to return profits in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced market.

Perhaps instead of bonuses paid for record profits, bonuses should be paid for time without lawsuits and settlements. Taken as a whole, with $10 billion on the table, there is profit in that strategy too.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Business & Economics

Made in the U.S.A.: Lincoln Logs come back home just in time for the holidays Watch

Image of Consumers are preferring 'Made in the U.S.A.' products over those produced overseas.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lincoln Logs, a classic American toy invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, has been a popular iconic toy for many years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The toy is made out of 100 percent real wood, cut straight from tree logs during the manufacturing process. For ... continue reading


OPEC's bust is America's boom! Why cheap oil is a friend to America Watch

Image of Falling oil prices have caused a great deal of pain among OPEC countries, but the group won't cut production until three months after oil drops below $40 a barrel.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The price of a barrel of oil continues to plunge, bringing with it an economic boon to motorists and headaches and potential layoffs to oil producers in the U.S. and around the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Currently the price of a barrel of oil is ... continue reading


Is OPEC over and done with? Bank of America makes startling predictions Watch

Image of OPEC is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to Bank of America, the OPEC oil cartel no longer exists in any meaningful sense. Furthermore, crude prices will drop to $50 a barrel over the coming months. This might mean relief at the pump - but this isn't necessarily a good thing, officials warn. ... continue reading


Sears no longer where America shops: 235 stores to close shortly Watch

Image of Analysts called the move a step in the right direction for the company, which has been tapping into its real estate in creative ways to compensate for downward-spiraling sales.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Few retailers are as American as Sears, one of its former and most popular taglines being "Where America Shops." That's no longer the case, as Wal-Mart has long seized that throne. It was a heavy heart that Sears announced that 235 under-performing stores would ... continue reading


36-year-low: Labor participation in the U.S. lowest since 1978 Watch

Image of The year 1978 was marked by the non-ironic use of disco music by Americans who blasted it on the radio to shake their groove things.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The year 1978 was marked by the non-ironic use of disco music by Americans who blasted it on the radio to shake their groove things. Another, far less nostalgic reminder of the year has been offered up by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The labor force ... continue reading


Reflects very badly on U.S.: China is now world's largest economy Watch

Image of How did this happen? As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

In the great car rental war that was between Hertz and Avis back in the 1960s, Avis took pride in the fact that they were behind Hertz with the saying: "We're Number Two - so we try harder!" It seems like the United States didn't try hard enough, as for the ... continue reading


Falling oil prices have helped the U.S. economy and revitalized the spending power of the American consumer Watch

Image of The continuing decline in the price of crude oil has brought numerous benefits to the American consumer and the U.S. economy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The recent plummet of oil prices have drained hundreds of billions of dollars from oil-rich exporters and oil companies but has injected a critically needed boost to the faltering economies in Europe and parts of Asia, but more directly to the American consumer, ... continue reading


Internet retail giant Amazon switches to a ROBOT workforce of thousands Watch

Image of Before anyone accuses Amazon of laying off human workers in order to facilitate automation, it must be noted that the company is opening more shipping centers and hiring 80,000 seasonal workers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Internet retail giant Amazon.com Inc. is handling "Cyber Monday" - the online shopping rush that usually occurs on the Monday following the Thanksgiving weekend - all in stride. Anticipating a new influx of customers, Amazon has upgraded and expanded its ... continue reading


Is Apple about to hit $1 trillion? Not if Google has anything to say about it Watch

Image of While Apple dominates the smartphone market, some suspect that its heavy reliance on products will lead to its downfall to companies who offer more services and software.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Silicon Valley tech giant Apple may one day be worth more than a trillion. Just for a second think about how massive that is. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The maker of mac computers, iPods, iPhones and more is already worth more than $670 billion, and has a $260 ... continue reading


Feet on the desk - more and more Americans simply don't want to work anymore Watch

Image of Pew Research says that 39 percent of 16 to 24-year-olds don't want to work, up a substantial amount from 29 percent in 2000.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly four in 10 Americans, or 92 million, are not in the labor force. Many are unemployed for no fault of their own. Many others have simply stopped looking for work. Why? The reasons are complex. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The largest group of people ... continue reading


All Business & Economics News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, ... Read More

Psalm, First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:46-56
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Chaeromon
December 22: Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the persecution was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter