Time Bomb
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Time Bomb

Greece : NY : USA | Oct 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM PDT
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A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange

Yet bought into the crisis, the Bank of America to strong - today it is the most dangerous bank in the world.

With his red hair and the wrinkled features Brian Moynihan looks like straight out of an advertisement for Irish Guinness. But to stem instead of a beer cozy, Moynihan in recent months has made more public appearances go through, as President Obama campaign speeches. Moynihan almost always acts tense, and he often speaks without pause, the words stumbling out of his mouth, he swallowed the ends. The "murmur," even his colleagues call him behind his back. For others, Brian Moynihan is the most dangerous in the world bankers.

The 52-year-old chief executive of Bank of America is. The Institute is outside the United States hardly known, but its collapse could turn the current crisis into a disaster. The B of A, as it is called the financial world, through a network of contracts, loans and guarantees to banks connected around the globe. "The Bank of America is the very definition of a systemically important financial institution," says William Black. "A collapse would Lehman Brothers make it look like a pothole. If the B of A falls, we all go over the cliff. "The researcher knows what he's talking about. As a regulator, he acknowledged the large U.S. savings and loan scandal of the nineties with.

The bank has total assets of $ 2.2 trillion a giant - corresponds to the sum of the combined gross domestic product of Greece, Portugal and Spain. More than 57 million Americans are customers, and virtually all large U.S. companies are too. Moynihan Institute has more stores in North America as Kentucky Fried Chicken. Is it the bank's bad, it goes bad the country - and the warning signs that the bank is bad, have been growing in recent weeks.

With $ 250 billion the state has helped, but that's not enough

Three years have passed since the demise of Lehman Brothers, and the lousy mortgage loans, which once caused the crash, disappeared from the headlines. But then rose in early September, the FHA, the supervision of the public mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , lawsuit against 17 ​​banks. The accusation: The bankers had been with the provision of loans to overextended borrowers not merely negligent, but did Fannie and Freddie Scrap deliberately palmed. And first of all, the FHA, the Bank of America in the visor, which rejects all the accusations. The agency claims to have enough evidence.

For B of A are the mortgages that fateful question. The Institute manages many billions of dollars of these mortgages. The government and the Fed have more than three years, provided $ 250 billion of loans and guarantees to stabilize it, but still opens up new plans. "Zombie" is the name of Wall Street this bank.

Into the realm of the undead, they have catapulted greed and megalomania.Angelo Mozilo is to blame, a butcher's son from the Bronx, New York's working-class neighborhood. Mozilo was with his company, Countrywide has been a pioneer and market leader with Countrywide for lending to customers with poor credit ratings. Mozilos dealer ranged 2005-2008 almost 500 billion dollars in mortgages. The business model was simple: Countrywide borrowed capital of big banks and mortgage forgave it. No sooner had the customer signed the loan agreement, sold at a profit to him Mozilos force the big banks. This created from securities and sold them to investors worldwide. It was like printing money. Soon could be the taxiing always deeply tanned Mozilo only in a gold Rolls Royce.

In order to fuel the growth, the credit seller lowered their demands to the creditworthiness of borrowers in ever new depths. Mozilo himself, it was scary. As "toxic," he once described the house prices in an internal e-mail.But when his company began to shake, he found a willing buyer in 2008.Even with a boundless dreams: Ken Lewis, then chairman of Bank of America and ambition-driven predecessors Moynihan.

Mozilo had Lewis as far from the noble houses of Wall Street money started his career. He started in the late sixties as a clerk in Charlotte, North Carolina, at NCNB, the predecessor of Bank of America. Together with his boss Lewis began an unprecedented takeover hunt. In a few decades the provincial bank swallow from the deep south, about 3,000 banks, credit card issuers and other financial services. That made the Bank of America, as the conglomerate was soon to arch-rivals the industry leader Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase. An appreciation for Lewis, who felt cut as a young banker in the New York branch of the arrogant financiers of Wall Street. Not even have a mortgage you want to give the province where Ling is rumored.

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Time Bomb
A man uses the ATM of Bank of America branch in Washington, DC.
ZohaibAnwer is based in Karāchi, Sind, Pakistan, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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