Return of the robber barons.

What’s next? Child labor?


Rat:  We can't make this stuff up.  The Stuff:  Banker says, Well, sir, no load for you.  We have to be very careful under all these banking regulations.  Man:  But aren't you the same bank whose employees opened two million fake accounts to charge customers fake fees?  Banker:  Yes, but we fired those bad apples.  Man:  But was there someone above those bad apples?  Banker:  Yes, sir.  She's retiring.  Man  Retiring.  Banker:  With a $124, 000,000 payout.  Man:  So you collect fake fees from customers, fire the employees you pressured, and keep all the millions for yourself?  Bankeer:  Yes, but if you feel strongly about it, you should talk to your congressman.  Man:  Where is he?  Banker:  With our CEO.  (Image:  CEO and Congressman in hot tub together throwing money about.)  Goat:  Where does it all end?  Rat:  I'm hoping for mobs and pitchforks.  Pig (dressed for battle and carrying a pitchfork):  Just tell me who to poke.

Click to see the original image.

By the by, I used to deal with the bank alluded to in the comic. As of last week, I no longer do.

19 October 2016 · Comments Off on Swiss Dark Chocolate Money · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

I’m not sure that I agree with his blanket condemnation of the U. S. Department of Justice, but it is certainly true that too often it is the whistleblower, not the whistleblowee, who suffers.

12 October 2016 · Comments Off on Teflon Titans · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

At The Roanoke Times, T. Michael Maher wonders how a three-piece suit became teflon armor. A snippet:

Get out of Jail free cardHow did bank CEO’s become seemingly untouchable for the fraudulent behavior committed under their watch anyway? Where does that free pass come from? Maybe it’s the people who actually write or influence our laws. Congressional office staff and staff attorneys usually draft the statutes with input gladly provided by lobbyists and their attorneys. Campaign contributions get some political attention, but just in case I’ll work on that bill while you continue campaigning.

Am I daft to think persons with obvious financial conflicts of interest should not be influencing and/or writing the laws designed to regulate that very activity? It seems to have an appearance of impropriety, especially with how often we see this type of behavior. You don’t want the wolf writing rules for the sheep’s pen.

07 October 2016 · Comments Off on The Stages of Grift · Categories: Masters of the Universe

Image Title:  That Wells-Faro Magic.  Image Caption:  Wells Fargo.  Image:  Huge carriage turned back into pumpkin with windows.  Horses turned back into mice in harness.  One mouse is saying,

Click to see the image at its original location.

06 October 2016 · Comments Off on It’s a Fargone Conclusion · Categories: Masters of the Universe

There is no limit to how far they will Fargo.

As Wells Fargo deals with fallout over sales tactics in its branches, complaints are surfacing about practices within a different part of the company: its national retail brokerage business.

Customers and former employees of that unit, Wells Fargo Advisors, have contacted the Observer following last month’s $185 million in government fines against the bank over employees’ opening of fake deposit and credit card accounts. The sources said questionable practices arising from the bank’s aggressive approach to sales also extend into its brokerage operation, which sells everything from mutual funds to annuities to IRAs.

Fargo to the link for the details.

06 October 2016 · Comments Off on Chasing Votes · Categories: Masters of the Universe

Jamie Dimon is upset that Hillary Clinton doesn’t care enough about bankers’ fee-fees.

Hell, if I hadn’t been supporting her already, this would have turned the trick.

05 October 2016 · Comments Off on The Great Migration · Categories: Masters of the Universe

I have been banking at Wells-Fargo.

It wasn’t a choice. It just happened.

I was banking at a regional bank that got gobbled up by Wachovia. Then, two minutes before the bubble burst, Wachovia bought Fly-by-Night Mortgage Company, Inc., and was taken down by the bursting bubble, so I ended up with Wells.

Though I have not had a bad experience with any local Wells-Fargo branches or any Wells-Fargo employees, it is difficult not to conclude from recent news reports that Wells-Fargo has a deeply corrupt corporate culture at the highest levels.

As my first wife would have said, they have plucked my last nerve.

Accordingly, I have spent most of the last two days moving my banking business to another bank. (This was made easier by my choosing to use minimal online billpay. I’m not agin’ it; I just feared that I wouldn’t be able to keep track of it, so I still write “checks”–they are made from paper and they take the place of currency; you may have heard of them. Consequently, I had only about four online thingees to change.)Get out of Jail free card

Yesterday I called up my pension fund (I’m old) to change my direct deposit from Wells to my new bank. After we had completed our business, the obliging fellow on the phone told me that they had gotten “lots of phone calls moving from Wells-Fargo” in the last week (and good for the callers, say I!).

I reminded him of the news stories. He said, “Oh, yeah. I remember reading something about that.” What followed was a cordial discussion about how a three-piece suit seems to be a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card and about how he and I were on the same wave-length about bankers and banking, but I digress. . . .

Now, I shall wait a month or so to be sure that everything is copacetic and then I shall finally forego Fargo for all time.

30 September 2016 · Comments Off on Just Compensation · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Wells-Fargo CEO standing beside two huge carts of mail to mailroom worker:  One holds pink slips for our conniving customer service workers.  The other carries fat performance bonus for our high-achieving senior management team.  Don't mix them up.

Click to see the image at its original location.

15 September 2016 · Comments Off on The Rich Are Different from You and Me · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Get out of Jail free card
They carry the very special invitation-only orange card.

12 September 2016 · Comments Off on Thom Spikes the Hype about TPP · Categories: Masters of the Universe

01 September 2016 · Comments Off on Overlords · Categories: Masters of the Universe

Uncle Sam with hat out before huge desk.  Plutocrat labeled

28 August 2016 · Comments Off on Only in It for the Money, Reprise · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Lifeguard holding life preserver and labeled

Click for the original image.

28 August 2016 · Comments Off on A. Workers in China · Categories: Geek Stuff, Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Q. Who polishes the Apple?

El Reg reports

. . . according to watchdog group China Labor Watch . . . the Cupertino giant has asked the companies that assemble its products to cut their own costs, and those demands have led them to cut back on worker pay and factory conditions.


“Currently, Apple’s profits are declining, and the effects of this decline have been passed on to suppliers. To mitigate the impact, Pegatron has taken some covert measures to exploit workers.”

Follow the link for the complete story.

28 August 2016 · Comments Off on Only In It for the Money · Categories: Health Care, Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Wendell Potter doesn’t try to hide his disgust at Aetna’s antics.

Health insurers . . . once again are demonstrating that nothing—absolutely nothing—is more important to them than making their rich shareholders even richer.

If that means making it more difficult for low- and middle-income Americans to get the medical care they need, so be it. “Too bad, so sad,” to use a phrase one of my former colleagues used to say when people complained about the way health insurers routinely screw their customers.


In fact, it is Aetna’s government business (Medicare and Medicaid–ed.) that is the only segment that is growing. Aetna and most of the other for-profit insurers have been losing private-paying customers on a regular basis for some time. But not to worry. As long as Uncle Sam has the Medicare and Medicaid faucets wide open and flowing straight into the insurers’ bank accounts, they couldn’t care less.

Read the rest.