HOW MANY INFRACTIONS DOES IT TAKE TO GET PUNISHED?
ONE IF YOU’RE LIKE ME; APPARENTLY WAY MANY IF YOU’RE WELLS FARGO
Last year I got a $100 ticket from the D.C. Department of Public Works (the Public Space Division) because my African Purple Pea vine was hanging over my wrought iron fence into the public space. Yes. Forget about the ten trash cans that stand blocking the sidewalk usually from Monday – trash pickup day – to around Wednesday or Thursday every week. Nary a ticket from the Public Space Police. Ever. And my African Pea Vine overhanging public space crime was not my only criminal act. I’ve been ticketed for not moving my car to the “Not Scheduled For Street Cleaning” side of the street (South Side on Wednesdays; North Side on Thursdays; between April 1 to October 1) but at least I’ve never been towed as others have.
|AFRICAN PEA VINE INFRACTION|
|TRASHCANS BLOCKING C ST. SIDEWALK|
Then too there’s the two new guys who moved in three houses down from me who parked and chained their Yamaha motorcycle the a wrought iron fence just like my own. Well, I knew that wasn’t going to end well but before I could stroll down to warn, them the Public Space Police acted. I do feel a alight pang of remorse when I see some Hyundai sedan with Georgia or Oregon license plats sporting a ticket for not following the street cleaning rules. After all they are tourists, visitors, who probably haven’t had a chance to figure out the Nation’s Capital rather complex parking regulations. Hey, we all know that we have to follow the rules in order that total chaos doesn’t break out in our Capital Hill neighborhood or we inadvertently cause the destruction of American society. I get it. I understand that when we don’t follow the rules, throw tradition to the gutter and upend generations of both written and unwritten rules we risk plunging into some dark hole of confusion, chaos, and bedlam sort of like the Trump White House.
So we obey the rules and when we don’t we get punished for it. But I have to remark on the latest in a string of wrongdoings by one of our nation’s largest banks, Wells Fargo. Now recall back in 2008 and 2009, Wells Fargo was slopping at the trough of Government bailout money after the world wide economic collapse of 2008. Wells Fargo was guilty of pushing home mortgages on unqualified yet unsuspecting borrowers, pushing “no doc” loans that didn’t require income verification and basically acting like some gangster Mafia organization who operated with impunity all across the nation. Punishment for these crimes? Well given that Congress and the Obama Administration were desperate not to let the economy slip into an even more disastrous worldwide depression, Wall Street and Main Street Banks were not punished for assisting to effect the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression.
Okay, I understand. It was a desperate time. Unprecedented measures were taken to stop the hemorrhaging of trillions of dollars out of your savings and mine. But we’re a decade past that. No longer are we protecting Wall Street brokerage houses and Main Street banks from themselves. No longer are we in the business of rescuing Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. So what gives with Wells Fargo?
You get a parking ticket and I get one for my offending African Pea vine overhang into the sidewalk space but what’s the deal with Wells Fargo? Back in May of this year, the lamestream media announced that Wells Fargo had created some 3.5 million accounts on behalf of their customers. I mean this sounds like great customer service, right? Well problem is, the accounts were created without Wells Fargo customers being notified much less asked for permission. The accounts were all bogus only meant to pump up Wells Fargo’s statistics. Or something. This practice, opening bogus customer accounts, had been going on since 2002 and in 2016 agreed to pay the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and others as settlement.
Fine and dandy I guess. So just a moth or so ago, Wells Fargo made the Breaking News Headlines once again. This time for foisting (selling) unnecessary auto insurance policies along with their car loans. Apparently some 800,000 of Wells Fargo’s auto loan customers were affected by this practice, the practice being the sale of unneeded collision insurance along with their car loans. So I guess Wells Fargo in a continuation of their odd customer service practices, didn’t quite take the lesson from their $184 million settlement, i.e. foisting fake shit on their customers.
Here’s what Senators Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters had to say about the continuing Wells Fargo scandals:
“The constant drip drop of fraudulent activities coming out of Wells Fargo is absolutely outrageous," said Representative Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. Big banks like Wells Fargo should be broken up to stop “this disgraceful, illegal and widespread misconduct."
The debacle threatens to undermine Wells Fargo’s efforts to mend its image in Washington a year after lawmakers savaged top executives during congressional hearings following the bank’s settlement with regulators for opening potentially millions of accounts without customers’ consent. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who has repeatedly chastised bank executives for failing to stop the abuse, urged Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in a letter to replace the board.
Not to be simplistic or maybe even stupid about this mess, but how come when you and I break the rules punishment is swift (justice delayed is justice denied, I guess) but this crime operation passing itself off as a bank gets to stay in business? How about let’s make an example of Wells Fargo by revoking its Federal Banking Charter and parceling off its assets to Bank of America, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase? Not that these guys are any better or more honest but unless and until one of these criminal enterprises is put out of business the nefarious and illegal dealings will continue.
Have A Great Day Folks! It’s quiet here in D.C. since Trump is on vaca!