DEAR WELLS FARGO, THE “DEVIL” MADE ME DO IT!

Wells Fargo is just the latest member of Corporate America to get caught with its hands in its Customers’ pockets.  Wells’ opening of non-authorized credit cards, and other accounts, generates increased revenue for the company.  You might have noticed questionable additional charges on your utility bill, received the hard-sell to accept unnecessary options when you bought a car, or were charged for unnecessary “extras” on your cell phone bill.  Unfortunately, this happens everywhere today, it seems.

Many employees have noticed that the corporate contribution for their health care, retirement and other so-called employer-sponsored benefits (if they have them, at all) have been reduced, as the workers are now expected to pay even more.  In essence, Corporate America has been pulling-back those benefits that attracted employees to begin with.  Yes, the cost of those benefits do eat into corporate profits; but, the commitment of those same employees, to the corporation’s success, hasn’t diminished one bit!

There’s a new Sales Paradigm in many companies that’s intended to fill the vacuum for employees taking greater ownership of their own benefit programs.  More and more, a greater portion of employees’ compensation is based on meeting sales and referral goals, which can actually improve their livelihood in the long run.  So, let’s focus on the Banking System for a moment, since this is where many in Congress are fighting against the interests of the American People.

Much has been written, blaming the overall Banking Industry for The Great Recession, which was caused mostly by the larger banks, just eight years ago.  Sub-Prime Mortgages, Credit Default Swaps, rating agencies benefitting from fraudulently-assigned Bond Ratings, illegal currency trading, etc, abounded throughout the Banking Community. But, schemes like the Wells Fargo credit card scam are now invariably part of everyday Corporate America.

When corporate executives change the method of paying employees—away from salary-only to include a significant bonus option—there will always be some employees who figure-out how to enhance their take-home pay.  And, once the landscape changes within a company, the malfeasance can spread, and become ingrained.

Intermediate managers also benefit from the increased revenue, which the new paradigm generates, and probably have goals for their departments, as well.  Perhaps, some managers, in turn, might be most happy to point-out the higher incomes of some employees, to others who didn’t seem to “get the message”.  All of such managerial encouragement is, no-doubt, subliminal, but absolutely necessary for this to work.  The whole corporate executive food chain, however, benefits from the new Sales Landscape.

In July of 2010, President Barack Obama signed the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” into Law.  Dodd-Frank was designed to rein-in the American Banking System, and to prevent it from ever again engaging in such illegal activities. In fact, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) brain-child, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a vital component of that Bill, was specifically intended to protect American Consumers against scams such as the opening of unauthorized credit card accounts.

The Banking Industry has been working overtime to de-fang and, perhaps, repeal Dodd-Frank.  Their Republican Allies in Congress have graciously accepted campaign contributions in order to accommodate the bankers’ goals.

Back in the 1940s, notorious bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks. Sutton responded: ““Because that’s where the money is!”  Well, now we know why!

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  1. #1 by cheekos on September 21, 2016 - 1:38 AM

    This whole fiasco is a prime example of how absurd it is–and its almost universal throughout Corporate America–for one person to serve as both Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of any corporation. The CEO is responsible for the management of the corporation, while the role of Chairman of the Board is to safeguard the interest of the Shareholders of the company. These two roles generally have divergent motivations. John Stumpf fills both roles and, no doubt, the Shareholders will end-up paying the $185 million fine.

    By the way, behind every Wells Fargo Teller Line, its Vision is billed as being summed-up in one word: Trust.

  2. #2 by Caleb Gee on September 29, 2016 - 5:07 PM

    Reblogged this on United States Hypocrisy and commented:
    What Wells Fargo did to its customers is hardly an aberration it seems.

    • #3 by cheekos on September 29, 2016 - 9:16 PM

      I understand that John Stump–both CEO and Chairman of the Board, will not accept his $41 million “Performance” Bonus, and some money will be taken back from the recently-retired head of W/F Retail Banking. When the absurdity of how much money these people receive, year-in year-out, that’s probably just a pittance of their total compensation, throughout their W/F careers, plus golden parachutes?

      Stumpf said they are contacting customers and refunding charges. Well, that’s very nice of W/F, but only after it got caught–not by its own internal safeguards–but by the CFPB, a Government agency that was created by Dodd-Frank. But, when a client is one day late in paying their credit card bill, they will be assessed a penalty, an interest charge, have their interest rate on future balances increased, and the client will receive a black mark on their credit record. But W/F, who knowingly created the problem, suffers none of those exorbitant consequences.

      Once again, when the CEO, whose role is to manage the company, is also the Chairman of the Board, there is no oversight. The Chairman’s role is to lead the Board in acting as a check on the company, and to protect the interests of the Shareholders. Such a dual role is absurd, and most CEOs are influenced by the out-of-sight bonus and compensation which is tied directly to the performance of the corporation, but not to how fair and honest it is managed.

      Lastly, Boards of Directors are often composed of other CEOs, who understand the tie-in between corporate performance and the CEO’s compensation. The non-CEO Board members are often composed of hers of Non-Profits who receive contributions from the corporation, or heads of companies who do business with the corporation in question.

  3. #4 by Ed Darrell on October 12, 2016 - 7:12 AM

    Woody Guthrie wrote of Pretty Boy Floyd:

    Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered
    I’ve seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    And some with a fountain pen.

    And as through your life you travel,
    Yes, as through your life you roam,
    You won’t never see an outlaw
    Drive a family from their home.

    • #5 by cheekos on October 12, 2016 - 10:37 AM

      Ed, the preposterous thing about the whole highway robbery–robbing the poor box to support one’s habit, and screw Peter and Paul–is that the little guys, the ones who merely existed, in order to support their families families, working within the environment which Stumpf & Co. established, are made-out to be the scapegoats. I sure won’t be crying for John Stumpf.

    • #6 by cheekos on October 12, 2016 - 10:56 AM

      Along those same lines, the GOPers are accusing Secretary Clinton of being in cahoots with Wall Street, just like they tried to paint President Obama with that brush, when he was running against Mitt Romney, who WAS “Wall Street”. Not that place in Lower Manhattan, but the entire Financial Services Industry–Nationwide. It’s called “The Street!”

      Well, Obama brought-in, then, Professor Elizabeth Warren, who was instrumental in drafting the Dodd-Frank Legislation to rein-in Wall St, so we won’t have another 2008 Melt-Down. And now, the Republicans are backing their Wall Street buddies to de-fang or repeal Dodd-Frank; but, Hillary’s the one who is in-bed with them. HUH?

      And, then the Republicans shot Warren down, when Obama tried to appoint her to be the first Administrator, to run the CFPB, which was created by Dodd-Frank. That’s when she turned around and defeated the Wall Street favorite for Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate Seat. I surely would have loved to see the great big grin on Senator Harry Reid’s face when he appointed Sen. Warren to the Senate Finance Committee. Mitch McConnell must have had both his Maalox and his Alka-Seltzer handy–industrial strength–at the ready that day

  4. #7 by cheekos on October 12, 2016 - 11:12 PM

    Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf resigned abruptly today. Stay tunes until we see how much he gets to leave. It’ll probably make that mere $41 million, that Congress shamed him into not accepting, look like a pittance–a reward for all of his “pain and suffering.” Which bank will be in the hot seat next?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/business/dealbook/wells-fargo-ceo.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

  5. #8 by cheekos on October 15, 2016 - 3:34 PM

    In the linked article from the NY Times, Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer, John R. Shrewsberry is quoted as attributing the 25% decline in bank and credit card accounts to the fact that customers were: “irritated with Wells Fargo in September.”

    Mr. Shrewsberry, how about there having been fraudulently made victims of an illegal scam? A scheme intended to generate revenue for your corporation. And, how about your former CEO acting surprised about it, that it had to be uncovered by the CFPB, that no member of Senior Management had been forced to forfeit bonuses, been terminated or faced legal charges?

    Wells Fargo terminated 5,300 lowly-paid employees–literally pawns in all this. When will this egregious behavior on the part of Bib Banks–and Big Corporations, as well. The proper response for Wells Fargo, and banks in general, should have been acknowledging that the Dodd-Frank Legislation needs to be brought-up to its original oversight intentions–lest we go through 2008 all over again.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/15/business/dealbook/wells-fargo-says-customers-shied-away-after-scandal.html?ref=business

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