From October 2008 through September 2014, Bank of America paid over $98 billion in 67 separate fines or settlements due to criminal activities.
Over these 6 years, this results in an average of $16.4 billion per year.
Bank of America’s net income for 2014 was only $4.8 billion.
From May 2010 through May 2015, JP Morgan Chase Bank has paid over $46.8 billion in 63 separate fines or settlements due to criminal activities.
Over these 5 years, this results in an average of $9.4 billion per year.
From February 2009 through December 2013, Wells Fargo Bank paid over $22.9 billion in 30 separate fines or settlements due to criminal activities.
From March 2008 through May 2015, Citigroup Bank has paid over $27.5 billion in 45 separate fines or settlements due to criminal activities.
These are just the criminal activities they have been ‘punished’ for. There are likely many more crimes which they have committed without being caught, and / or punished.
These banks happen to be the four largest U.S. banks, with over $8 trillion in assets. The 205 total fines or settlements against them exceeded $195 billion over the past 7 1/2 years.
Any profits a corporation makes could be used to pay employees more, be given to stockholders as profit payments, or used to decrease costs to its customers. Bank of America currently has about 224,000 employees. Over the six years in question, if it had not had to pay for the criminal activity it was engaged in, it could have paid each of its employees an extra $73,000 per year in wages.
The current total value of all Bank of America stock is around $176 billion. The $98 billion total spent on 6 years for criminal activity would amount to approximately 57% of the market value of each share of stock. So a person with $10,000 in Bank of America stock could receive an additional profit check of $5,700, had this money not been used to pay fines and settlements. This is a moot point, as the profits taken from criminal activities were likely 3 – 10+ times the penalty / settlement amounts. Had the $16.4 billion per year been used to reduce customer costs, such as interest charges, the overall business done by the bank would likely have increased greatly, thus enabling the hiring of more employees, increased pay for existing employees, more profit to shareholders, and increased bribes to politicians.
If an organization does a large amount of legal, legitimate business, and some criminal business, is it not still a criminal organization? Say a Mafia ‘family’ runs some laundromats and car washes legally and legitimately for 70% of its profits, but also runs protection rackets, does some robberies, money laundering, murder for hire, drug dealing, and dabbles in human trafficking for the other 30% of its profits. Is it proper to allow them continue operations? If not, why are we doing this with banks?
As the President, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. congress are too corrupt to destroy these criminal organizations, the states should take the responsibility of doing so. All states have laws in place to shut down criminal enterprises, we should start using them.
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6,300 corporate fines and settlements for criminal activities, with links to articles describing each: