In Wells Fargo Case, News Really Did Happen To An Editor


Several years after I returned to New York from Oregon, I made a strange discovery. Bank accounts I was certain I had closed were inexplicably racking up service charges. It seemed bizarre, particularly because I had gone in person to a newly opened local branch of my West Coast bank to make sure the accounts were shut down.

The failure to pay these charges (bills were sent to my old address and never caught up with me) resulted in penalties and a report to a credit agency. After an increasingly frustrating series of exchanges at the local branch, the bank agreed to wipe out the charges but said I would have to deal with the credit agencies on my own.

It seemed outrageous, and as the editor in chief of an investigative news operation, I thought about asking Paul Kiel, ProPublica’s crack reporter on bank shenanigans, to take a look.

But then I stopped myself.

There’s an old saying in the journalism business for this sort of thinking: News is what happens to an editor.

As with so many newsroom aphorisms, it’s meant to be proclaimed with an eye roll and a tone of deep sarcasm. Reporters view editor-generated stories as the bane of their existence, and not without reason. Random events and pet peeves are not often a great starting point for serious stories.

Early in my career, I worked for a newspaper chain whose leadership was obsessed with the weather. Virtually every summer day, editors assigned stories on the heat or thunderstorms to some hapless reporter unfortunate to be sitting in direct sight of the city desk. (To be fair, Landmark Communications ended up creating the Weather Channel, an asset that eventually sold for $3.5 billion. Maybe they weren’t as dumb as we thought.)

Determined not to be the editor whose life events turn into assignments, I did not ask for a story on the refusal of Wells Fargo to set things right with the credit bureaus they had notified.

Read on.

One response to “In Wells Fargo Case, News Really Did Happen To An Editor

  1. Hmmm did the House Finance Committee sound a lot like me. In fact a lot literally word for word of some of my DC testimony and with regulators. “Houston we have a problem” I said to all of them employees don’t need hundreds of whistleblower laws or to file lawsuits it is actually written into the law after 134 Congressional sessions that employees at a bank or third party, attorney or company associated with a bank or creditor. My attorney is in Houston so it became a joke too after years of testifying and non stop work on this. Here is a crystal ball into next headlines in the Wells Fargo Case. There is a reason Stumpf said over and over that only back to 2009. First ALL Wells Fargo credit cards are JP Morgan Chase! Wells Fargo doesn’t have a credit card division that is why they keep saying Retail Banking notice not once does he say Credit Card Division. Here is what is coming next.
    And google it WaMu sold all of the Fannie and Freddie accounts in 2007 to Wells Fargo along with the Milwaukee Mortgage Servicing site and the employees there. No warning to any of us just like Providian just bam and what the hell did you just do??? If and invisible to even us in corporate with access to the massive Enterprise Database of everything and me a GE Cap certified Six Sigma Blackbelt beyond an expert in all of it and I can find anything and everything in any bank or companies and analyze 100 million accounts in one shot across everything and all laws State, Federal and all Regulatory and SEC. I couldn’t see them nor 99% of the employees during that Congressional Order and Investigation with the Senate, OCC criminal and audit and compliance hey I found what happened why are these credit cards on everything and everything with balances and all securitized. So running on multiple balance sheets but concealed at Chase who had hundreds of millions of accounts stored in all kinds of places off balance sheet and I reported 134 operations that I contacted as law in real time as the only criminal laws in banking that you are personally and individually accountable criminally and financially you need to disclose to the FDIC and Treasury it’s called a sox exception and lets them know that they will get the reports and files in batches as they will not show in the Enterprise Control Reports internally or any regulatory reporting it is invisible and the most criminal law in banking and just knowing or intentional or unintentional the CEO is the accountable party and goes to jail end of story. I mean their sentencing charts basically unintentional anyone 10 years and intentional 20 years PER COUNT. That is just one item.

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