Monday, June 07, 2010

Gratitude from BOA

Bank of America, one of the six financial institutions which together possess 63% of assets in the nation's economy, has been one lucky bank. On October 28, 2008 it received $15 billion of the roughly $200 billion from the American taxpayers to save the lowly entrepreneurs. Bank of America then decided to acquire Merrill Lynch, and received $20 billion for its troubles while the federal government agreed to

guarantee part of a pool of $118 billion in illiquid assets, including residential and commercial real estate and corporate loans. Bank of America will be responsible for the first $10 billion in losses; the Treasury and the FDIC will take on the next $1.

The generosity of the American taxpayer (and the "socialist" government Rush Limbaugh and many other Republicans keep reminding us of) seems to have paid off. On April 16 The Huffington Post noted

Bank of America Corp. on Friday followed JPMorgan Chase & Co. in reporting a big first-quarter profit and that it sees a healing economy. Bank of America said its earnings rose 0.7 percent to $2.83 billion from $2.81 billion a year earlier.

Making money and racking up profits is a good thing, even if the biggest sector of the private economy needed a boost from big government to get it done. But how has it been done?

Loans to fledgling businesses and to the American people, without whose generosity Bank of America might no longer be in existence. Perhaps, though, through cutting expenses, as the India Times reports:

Workers for Bank of America Corp, one of the nation's largest employers, have sued the company for allegedly failing to pay overtime and other wages.

The lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, consolidates 12 lawsuits filed on behalf of employees in California, Florida, Kansas, Texas and Washington.

It seeks nationwide class-action status on behalf of employees at retail branches and call centers over the last three years. The federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in April directed that the cases be combined.

According to the 44-page complaint, the largest U.S. bank by assets requires employees to work in excess of eight hours per day or 40 hours per week, yet fails to pay them both for overtime and for all straight time worked.

The complaint also accuses the bank of requiring employees to work during unpaid breaks, failing to provide meal and rest breaks, and failing to timely pay terminated employees for earned wages and accrued vacation time.

"Bank of America enjoys millions of dollars in ill-gained profits at the expense of its hourly employees," violating either the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or various state labor laws, the complaint said.

Bank of America will get its day in court (unless it settles out of it). Still, one can wonder if this arrangement is what Rush Limbaugh meant when he imagines the Obama Administration sayin "This what we're about. This is how we're going to make you dependent on us. This is how we're gonna destroy the private sector."

Yep, give them billions so they can stay in business and make billions- each year- with the help of free labor. That Socialist in the White House sure knows how to break the private sector.

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