February 4, 2009

Bank of America lauds its $1,500,000,000,000.00 CRA pledge

WaMu's $375 billion in Community Reinvestment Act loans was for pikers! A reader writes:

Here is a direct quote from a full-page ad placed by Bank of America in today's (2/4/09) WSJ under the heading "Bank of America's Promise to America:"

"We began a 10-year, $1.5 trillion investment in low-to-moderate income and minority communities -- the largest investment of its kind in America."

This from a company that would be bankrupt without the government bailout. Smacks of a CRA quid pro quo to me. I wonder who picks up the "promise" on this one.

One-and-a-half-trillion here, one-and-a-half-trillion there, pretty soon ... All I can say is that If Everett Dirksen were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave.

... Actually, I can say more.

Note that this is a full page ad not in Mother Jones or the New York Times, but in the Wall Street Journal.

You might think that now that Bank of America wants to get even more bailout money from the taxpayers, they'd ixnay mentioning to Wall Street Journal subscribers their earlier promise to lend $1.5 trillion imprudently, and that now they'd instead be talking about how the taxpayers are likely to get their money back in the long run.

UPDATE: A reader comments:

Perhaps their ad in the WSJ was a way of advertising to prospective investors that they were unlikely to be destroyed by discriminatory government legislation.
"Bank Of America: We pay our protection money on time and in full!"

But that's not how the contemporary worldview works. Everybody is a Kool-Aid drinker, including WSJ subscribers. No, trillion in Community Reinvestment Act pledges shows you are a good bank, not one of those evil people who didn't pour hundreds of billions down the CRA rathole. So, your moral superiority makes you worthy of getting even more money out of the taxpayers.

The $1.5 trillion dollar pledge was bragged about April 28, 2008 by B of A executive Liam McGee at a CRA hearing in Los Angeles evaluating B of A's purchase of notorious subprime crater Countrywide (talk about a convergence of the walking undead!). As you might recall, everybody in the world became aware that the housing bubble had popped in the summer of 2007, but nine months later B of A was pledging to pour $1.5 trillion down the CRA rathole. And 9 months later, in 2009, they're paying a lot of money to boast about their $1.5 trillion pledge to WSJ readers.

Now, the government can't force bankers to risk $1.5 trillion. All that the government and the "community organizers" can do is select and nurture a now generation of bankers who think pledging $1.5 trillion to meet CRA goals is a great idea because that's what all the bigshot bankers who got permission to buy up other banks have done for the last 15 years. If you want to be a winner, you play ball with ACORN and company.

Sorry about quoting at length, but if I edited out anything, you'd think I was altering the meaning by removing context. No, it's really this egregious:

$1.5 Trillion Community Development Goal
Our continuing commitment to community development will not waver. As you know, in 2004, we raised the bar when we announced our ten-year, $750 billion community development goal. Today, we are raising that bar.

I am proud to announce Bank of America’s new, and unprecedented, 10-year goal of $1.5 trillion for community development lending and investments. This is the largest community development goal ever by any company in America. In coming years, this goal is certain to enhance quality of life for millions of Americans in need, by:

• helping finance construction of affordable housing throughout the nation,

• providing loans and other needed capital to small businesses,

• supplying consumer loans, including housing finance, for low- and moderate-income and minority borrowers, and

• financing economic development for communities in need.

In addition, our Charitable Foundation is raising its philanthropic giving goal from $1.5 billion to $2 billion over 10 years. This is the most ambitious long-term corporate philanthropic goal ever announced by any company. We are setting this goal despite uncertain economic times.

We are optimistic about the future prospects of the housing market and the enhanced mortgage services Bank of America will offer after its acquisition of Countrywide . In announcing our new, $1.5 trillion community development goal, industry-leading mortgage loan practices and new foreclosure mitigation strategies, we ensure that our customers will continue to benefit from Bank of America’s responsible and principled approach to doing business. We encourage others in the industry to follow our lead.

Andrew Plepler will now give more details on our community development and philanthropic activities.
* * * * *

Andrew Plepler
Good morning. My name is Andrew Plepler. Bank of America’s commitment to strengthening the health and vitality of communities stems from a deeply ingrained philosophy and a long tradition of demonstrating corporate citizenship through community development and philanthropy. In particular, by partnering with nonprofits and community leaders … we concentrate on improving the lives of low- and moderate-income and minority families and neighborhoods.

Our company has received five consecutive Outstanding CRA ratings … reflective of our community development focus. In addition, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is the second largest corporate donor in the world.

For many years, Bank of America has been recognized for its community development work. The vast majority of these activities are the results of our line of business products and services we provide to customers and communities. In more specific areas of community development, we have leveraged our knowledge and expertise to become a national leader in affordable housing, small business lending and neighborhood revitalization. And, we are recognized for our results in creating sustainable community and economic development through public–private partnerships.

Since 2004, our company has been delivering on an ambitious 10-year goal of $750 billion for community development loans and investments. To provide just a few “proof” points, consider some of our 2007 results:
• More than $100 billion in community development loans and investments to low- and moderate-income and minority families, business and communities;
• Financing, developing and rehabbing nearly 22,000 units of affordable housing;
• $25.6 billion in small business lending and the #1 SBA lender for the 10th consecutive year; and
• Investing more than $84 million in Community Development Financial Institutions.

Because we also believe that affordable, quality rental housing is critical to our national housing stock, we have been a leader in financing to non-profit and for-profit developers. Bank of America remains a strong player in this space and has expanded its capability to direct Low Income Housing Tax Credit investments to ensure continuity and capacity in the market.

In addition to our community development goal, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation set an unprecedented $1.5 billion goal in 2004 for philanthropic giving over 10 years. Since then, we have invested more than $550 million toward increasing the health and vitality of neighborhoods throughout our franchise. Through signature programs like our Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, we are helping increase the capacity of community organizations, develop current and next generation community leaders and create significant impact in the communities we serve.

By supporting organizations such as hospitals, universities and arts institutions, we are helping to create jobs and stimulate economic development to enhance the quality of life in diverse neighborhoods. In addition, our associates provide tremendous support as volunteers in the communities where we live and work.

A local example of a not-for-profit we have supported is Bethel New Life. This organization is empowering individuals, strengthening families and building a sustainable community. Bethel brought in more than $110 million in new investments to a credit starved community and developed more than a thousand units of affordable housing in Chicago’s west side. Bethel’s President and CEO, Steven McCullough attended leadership training and the organization received a $200,000 grant.

Some of our 2007 philanthropic activities include:
• More than $200 million in charitable giving;
• Grants were made to 4,800 nonprofits for education and youth programs, health and human services, community development, arts and culture, and the environment;
• More than 50% of our grants were CRA-qualified, directly benefiting LMI individuals or neighborhoods; and
• Contributing more than 650,000 employee volunteer hours and more than $20 million in charitable donations by associates to help meet pressing community needs.

We recognize the needs are great. We pledge our on-going support – as we have in the past – in addressing community needs, especially in challenging economic times as we now face. To that end, I am proud to announce that the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and Countrywide will provide $35 million in grants and program-related investments as part of our neighborhood stabilization program. These funds will help local and national non-profits engaged in foreclosure prevention and to purchase vacant single-family homes for neighborhood stabilization.

At Bank of America, we have a remarkable franchise dedicated to leveraging our broad national reach … our financial capacity and capability ... and our deep commitment to strengthening communities. We take our leadership role very seriously as demonstrated by our $750 Billion goal for community development and $1.5 Billion goal for Philanthropy. We hold ourselves accountable to create real change, and we publicly report on our progress toward these goals.

I want to give two other specific instances where Bank of America serves as a good corporate citizen.

First is supplier diversity. Bank of America is committed to fostering diversity in our communities and has incorporated that commitment as a core value in our business practices. We developed an aggressive program of outreach and business development to grow opportunities. We are proud that more than 16% of our company’s sourceable spend in 2007 were with firms that are majority-owned by women, minorities or people with disabilities.

Second is the environment. Bank of America is recognized as a leader for its advocacy of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and support responsible, sustainable development.

We have dedicated $20 billion over 10 years for an environmental initiative to support these efforts. We recently announced that Bank of America has adopted the “Carbon Principles, guidelines for lenders to promote cleaner energy technologies. We also are very proud that our new Bank of America Tower in New York City has been recognized widely as one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the world.

In short, Bank of America is and will continue to be committed to the communities that we serve. By providing local, relevant support to neighborhoods, we will continue to create opportunities for our customers, associates, and communities to grow and prosper.

We know that we are most effective by partnering with nonprofit organizations and community leaders to identify and address the challenges that together we can overcome.

It's worth rereading to try to figure out how much ends up in the pockets of the "community organizers" that can protest the merger. I don't know, but it's not a small number.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

28 comments:

jody said...

there's a really strange dynamic starting to happen in america now, similar to what happens in south africa, where huge amounts of european generated money are being simply flushed away on the africans, by law of the government. yet, the various non-european groups aren't even the majority in america, so how is the same dynamic already in operation?

i mean, this has been building for a while, yet it reached vast sums of cash rather quickly, within the last couple years. the national economy is finally being drastically hampered by this, and it can only get worse. we're talking 50 million africans and 50 million mestizos in america by 2025, all required by government law to receive a huge wealth transfer.

holy moly. wait until europeans become a minority in 15 years. the giant mountains of capital being flushed away will be mind boggling. $1 trillion gone already and the europeans are still 60% of the population. california's budget deficit today will look reasonable compared to 2025.

Anonymous said...

yet, the various non-european groups aren't even the majority in america, so how is the same dynamic already in operation?

Because these wealth transfer programs used to be affordable for the white middle class.

Anonymous said...

Jody, your numbers give it away. Part of the White population agrees with the wealth transfer, either because they are idiots or they are genuinely evil.

Phil Resch said...

Perhaps their ad in the WSJ was a way of advertising to prospective investors that they were unlikely to be destroyed by discriminatory government legislation.

"Bank Of America: We pay our protection money on time and in full!"

zylonet said...

"Perhaps their ad in the WSJ was a way of advertising to prospective investors that they were unlikely to be destroyed by discriminatory government legislation."

I doubt it. I have worked with a lot of bankers and most of them are poor studies in human differences. In my MBA, the bankers showed a complete lack of understanding on issues of immigration, but the marketing students were all aware of the impending disaster. The finance students just viewed everything as potential profit; not a lot of humanity in their thinking. I have also seen this in the working world when I have mentioned the various IQ gaps. More than one multi-millionaire banker has looked at me with complete blankness. Not as if offended, but genuinely disbelieving. These, otherwise intelligent people, are missing something.

ben tillman said...

Now, the government can't force bankers to risk $1.5 trillion.

Really? So you're saying that a shareholders' derivative suit would be a winner?

ben tillman said...

"Bank Of America: We pay our protection money on time and in full!"

That's right. It's protection money, and I'd love to bring THAT out in discovery. It's the only explanation management could give in a shareholders' suit.

Anonymous said...

"Not as if offended, but genuinely disbelieving. These, otherwise intelligent people, are missing something."

An interesting point. I notice Steve is under the delusion that most people actually talk about race and genetic differences in private or at least hint at them. This is untrue. Most people have no clue this is possible, at least from my experiences.

Is this true for everyone else?

shark said...

"Part of the White population agrees with the wealth transfer, either because they are idiots or they are genuinely evil."

Steve makes some excellent points here, but if you think about it there really is no "wealth transfer" taking place - this 'money' which the Bank of America and the other banks are tossing around like cheap candy is actually printed-out-of-thin-air FED funny money...it's not real.

It's not as if the Federal government has directly seized and then completely drained the savings/checking/investment accounts of a hundred million White Americans and is currently handing it all over to ethnic minorities...no, the Federal government is just printing the 'money' and/or transferring large phantom sums around from computer to computer.

CJ said...

The time horizons of contemporary banksters are very short. For the upper executives, it's all about maximizing your bonus this year. A million here, a million there, and soon you've accumulated a personal fortune large enough that you don't care if the bank fails.

Posters have wondered just how aware bankers are about differing intelligence and criminality levels among peoples. Personally knowing a few bankers, I'd say that they've led sheltered lives and have few intellectual interests, so the short answer is they usually have no idea.

Anonymous said...

"Steve makes some excellent points here, but if you think about it there really is no "wealth transfer" taking place - this 'money' which the Bank of America and the other banks are tossing around like cheap candy is actually printed-out-of-thin-air FED funny money...it's not real."

You are correct that this FED funny money is printed out of thin air.

You are INCORRECT that it is not a wealth transfer.

Thin-air money printing, and then loaned to people who could not otherwise get a loan, drives up prices. Econ 101 -- increased demand, prices go up. (That's how the prices for houses in the housing bubble got so high.)

Increase in prices, of everything, houses, corn flakes, whatever, is the result of the money printing. Sometimes the phenomenon is referred to as "increasing the money supply." We generally call it "inflation."

Another way to look at increasing prices, i.e., inflation, is to view it as loss of purchasing power:
Since prices have climbed, you can now buy less stuff, (houses, cornflakes, etc.,) with the dollar in your pocket than the day you earned it.

So you have had your wealth, that is to say, the ability to get stuff, like corn flakes or houses, which you worked for and saved, transferred from yourself to the home loan borrower, who only could get the loan as a result of the FED money printing.


Yeah, FED money printing is absolutely a wealth transfer. But it's sneaky and hidden to most people, who misunderstand the nature of inflation. So it's great for the politicians. The plebes never catch wise, and the crooks in Washington get to buy votes with the new FED funny money.

What's not to like? Unless, that is, you're a dumb plebe, like me, who is watching his purchasing power of his savings being eroded by inflation, as well as taking a stock market hit.

Anonymous said...

An interesting point. I notice Steve is under the delusion that most people actually talk about race and genetic differences in private or at least hint at them. This is untrue. Most people have no clue this is possible, at least from my experiences.

Is this true for everyone else?


Men do occasionally. Women never seem to, and usually suppress men with PC babble if the men bring it up. And while men will occasionally talk about it, it isn't really analytical talk. It is usually just stating the difference in crime rates, speech patterns and culture.

And oddly, even the men who bring it up often try to convince themselves that their "eyes are lying".

Posters have wondered just how aware bankers are about differing intelligence and criminality levels among peoples. Personally knowing a few bankers, I'd say that they've led sheltered lives and have few intellectual interests, so the short answer is they usually have no idea.

Same experience here. In America there seems to be a "softness" to out leadership, be it business, political, religious or governmental.

It used to be that the guys who ran things were generally sharp. They knew their job, they knew people, they knew risk. They were often complete pricks when the situation demanded. Now it seems that our leaders adapt the deaf, dumb and mute approach. While this is often necessary in today's PC world, I just don't get the impression that they have the same tool set as guys in the past.

Or maybe I'm just getting older and seeing things for how they actually are.

headache said...

jody sed:
"there's a really strange dynamic starting to happen in america now, similar to what happens in south africa, where huge amounts of european generated money are being simply flushed away on the africans, by law of the government. yet, the various non-european groups aren't even the majority in america, so how is the same dynamic already in operation?"



It’s actually quite easy. The South African shakedown racket was a direct import of the American one. After Clinton forced Mandela on the whites, a host of African Americans with their white helpers arrived to implement the scheme down there. Steve is just getting to the juicier bits. After a while they left because African Americans don’t mix so well with their African brethren as they like to tell everyone. In fact African Americans generally disdain African blacks.

Xcept that in the US there is enough beef on the white carcass so that this can go on for quite a while without destroying the system. Not so in South Africa. The economy there was always rickety having gone through 30 years of sanctions and only 5 mio. whites to uphold it. Now the top 20% of whites have left because they are not keen on the wonders of diversity. So the system crashes. Zimbabwe is a depressing tale, but if you look at the fundamentals, it was a similar game only that the pickings were slim and the party was over almost after it began.

Steve is onto something big here. I hope we are going to tour this amazing kaleidoscope of rigs behind the scene.

Anonymous said...

We need a PDF of the AD online ASAP, to shove down the throat of everyone who starts spouting off about how the CRA could *DOUBLEUNPOSSIBLY!!!* have had anything to do with bad lending.

Anonymous said...

jody,

Another thing about South Africa is that whites are a captive minority. Most don't have European passports and Australia is only taking the young and the cream. The US won't take them fearing an "influx of racists". So whites have no choice but to pay off the blackmail, because ultimately going to jail is a death sentence for a white person in a country where they only make up 6%. It’s a case of pay or die.

The reason why Steve's digging is so apt is that the US is now getting to a point where it cannot any longer afford these shakedowns, but whites are still a majority. So you can possibly turn the system. During previous decades the white middle class in the US quietly accepted the blackmail, but maybe they won't buy into it anymore.

Josh said...

Steve,

Do you have a scanner? This needs to be put online, ASAP!

Does anyone else have a scanner?

RobertHume said...

Steve needs to write another book!

David said...

Anonymous said

We need a PDF of the AD online ASAP, to shove down the throat of everyone who

Won't work.

When pithy summaries are offered, the response is "What you are missing is an explantion of the mechanism."

When a full explanation is offered, the response is "Yawn. I never read things that are that long."

None are so blind as those who will not see.

Mr. Anon said...

shark said...

"Part of the White population agrees with the wealth transfer, either because they are idiots or they are genuinely evil."

Steve makes some excellent points here, but if you think about it there really is no "wealth transfer" taking place - this 'money' which the Bank of America and the other banks are tossing around like cheap candy is actually printed-out-of-thin-air FED funny money...it's not real.

"shark said...

It's not as if the Federal government has directly seized and then completely drained the savings/checking/investment accounts of a hundred million White Americans...."

No, it's exactly like that. Consider this thought experiment: 10 people, isolated on some island - each have 1 dollar. Each person has 10% of the extant money. One of these people is a banker who - magically! - takes it upon himself to extend credit to his fellow island dwellers. He loans each other person a dollar. How'd he get this extra nine dollars? Don't ask. Maybe it was from deposits made by his fellow islanders. Maybe he borrowed it from the Fed (who just made it up) at a low interest rate. But now the nine, each owe the one, one dollar apiece. After they have paid it back, they all have their original one dollar, and the banker has ten. He now has nearly 50% of the extant money.

Inflation is theft.

Whodathunk said...

Econ-think minds are part and parcel to the mainstream American Protestant way of thinking. They perceive everything in terms of "Accumulate, accumulate! Accumulate!" That is Moses and the prophets to them. These people have some dangerous intellectual blind spots.

Human differences, culture, etc is one of them. Econ-think types seem to be completely barren of culture somehow and oblivious to how important culture and roots is to most human beings.

Another near-complete blind spot is the use of force underlying all property, law, civilization, etc. Without people willing to physically protect their property, there can be no economic exchange or barter or speculation or anything like that (why trade when you can take?). When good economic relations break down, people revert to the more basic form of behavior.

Somehow the second elephant in the room is always a surprise when he steps into view. 1929: Stock Market Crash. Study a time line of the 1930's to see how things rolled out from there. You might need some Maalox if you really consider what is going on.

Evil Sandmich said...

I don't know if it will hold up, but it doesn't look like their ad bought them much good will, if anything it's had the opposite effect:
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Bank-Americas-shares-fall-6/story.aspx?guid=%7B96E702C0%2D8A9B%2D4790%2DBD8A%2D91BB48BF2575%7D

Anonymous said...

Every single one of those bankers you guys are complaining about had already been personally affected by the wealth transfer from productive men to unproductive women through nofault divorce and antifather custody law. Every single one. There is not one person in that class who hasn't suffered tremendous loss at the hands of their own spouse, through the dissolution of their parents' marriage, or from what happened to a sibling or close friend. Society had already made clear to those men that accumulation of wealth for the benefit of their own household and posterity would not be allowed. And you are all surprised that they don't see race? They aren't allowed to have families!

David said...

They aren't allowed to have families!

You overstate your case slightly. Most people are allowed to have families.

But white family formation is discouraged. Legally, financially, and culturally. The best bet for whites is to move to a rural area, join a non-crazy church to network and date, find a woman or man who is not socialized to want to live Beyonce's life and have Madonna's morals, and homeschool the kids. Church-member neighbors and friends can help with babysitting and other needs on a barter basis.

It's vanishingly possible to do this. Soon (in a few years) it will be practically impossible unless you're rich. And you don't get to be rich these days except in strange ways.

Anonymous said...

Headache said...

The South African shakedown racket was a direct import of the American one.

The American AA system was implemented by a conservative president: Richard Nixon! After so many Northern cities were set alight as part of the civil rights movement the voters elected a "conservative" (center-left) president after 8 years of extreme far left presidents, such as JFK and LBJ.

I'm sorry if this a double post, I have been having some internet problems.

Anonymous said...

You overstate your case slightly. Most people are allowed to have families.

And you're deluded. You have a family at the sufferance of your wife, who can destroy it and you whenever she pleases. That's not a family, that's a death sentence.

Your fantasy world of running off to the sticks and raising children in a protective bubble is entirely dependent on convincing a woman to come with you. Good luck with that. I gotta say, as a churchgoing homeschooling mother myself, I would warn the ladies faaaar away from you, since your set of delusions don't make you good husband material. You think people can just plug themselves into a real community at will, huh? It doesn't work that way.

More importantly, you do not place yourself under a different system of law by deciding you're going to have a Green Acres LARP.

Anonymous said...

You have a family at the sufferance of your wife, who can destroy it and you whenever she pleases.

Wow, there are some really angry divorced dudes on iSteve.

David said...

Anonymous said

And you're deluded. You have a family at the sufferance of your wife, who can destroy it and you whenever she pleases. [etc., etc., etc.]

1. Your comment fairly bristles with hostility. Whose side are you on?

2. If you are pro-white-family, enlighten us from your superior experience and wisdom: what exactly is your recommendation?

Anonymous said...

I stated in the my comment that I am a woman. I am not sure how you missed that.

One of the things that started me on the road to race realism was observing that protected minorities and to a certain extent women are allowed to say things that aren't even entirely true with extreme rhetorical force, but no one is allowed to make accurate statements about the real world of family law.

Black people's verbal aggression about whitey is the content of normal pop music. Women can draw comic books about castration. But the plain facts about modern marriage are met with hilarious disdain and disbelief.

None of you are married or have any money though so I guess you don't have to be concerned.