Let’s be clear, the business model of Wall Street is fraud. In my view, there is no better example than the recently-exposed illegal behavior at Wells Fargo.
The CEO of Wells Fargo admitted today that he knew in 2013 the bank was scamming customers, but he took no action to fire or reprimand the senior executives in charge of supervising this activity. Instead, they were given millions in bonuses, while the value of the stock that the CEO owned shot up in value by more than $200 million.
Wells Fargo’s abuse of its customers is not an aberration. In April, the bank reached a $1.2 billion settlement with the Department of Justice for ‘reckless’ and ‘shoddy’ underwriting on thousands of home loans from 2001 to 2008. In 2012, Wells Fargo was fined $175 million to settle claims of discriminatory and predatory subprime lending in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.