just spent $411 fixing a SERVICE ENGINE SOON problem. apparently, the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light means you will automatically fail a smog test (so i was told). now i have to wait 3-4 days before i get a smog check to let the car's computer recycle. this got me thinking — because i have no nest egg, no health insurance, no 401K — of all the agencies, companies & organizations i support: bank, auto, gas/electricity, groceries, cable/internet, etc. (under construction)
The funny thing about how a bank works is that it functions because of our trust. We give a bank our money to keep it safe for us, and then the bank turns around and gives it to someone else in order to make money for itself. Banks can legally extend considerably more credit than they have cash. Still, most of us have total trust in the bank's ability to protect our money and give it to us when we ask for it. Why do we feel better about having our money in a bank than we do having it under a mattress? Is it just the fact that they pay interest on some of our accounts? Is it because we know that if we have the cash in our pockets we'll spend it? Or, is it simply the convenience of being able to write checks and use debit cards rather than carrying cash? Any and all of these may be the answer, particularly with the conveniences of electronic banking today. Now, we don't even have to manually write that check -- we can just swipe a debit card or click the "pay" button on the bank's Web site. In this article, we'll look into the world of banking and see how these institutions work, what you would have to do to start your own bank, and why we should (or shouldn't) trust them with our hard earned cash.
Bank of America Corporation today reported that first quarter net income rose to $4.70 billion, or $1.14 per share (diluted), from $2.68 billion, or $0.91 per share, a year ago. Under purchase accounting rules, results reported for the first quarter of 2004 do not include the impact of FleetBoston Financial Corporation, which was acquired on April 1, 2004. Return on common equity in the first quarter was 19.30 percent.
Bank of America Corp., which has 72 branches in Central Florida, has agreed to purchase a 9 percent stake in China Construction Bank in a $3 billion deal that will be the largest purchase of stock in a Chinese bank by an overseas lender. "This investment is aimed at creating a long-term benefit by partnering with the best-positioned bank in China, which is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with 1.3 billion consumers," Ken Lewis, Bank of America chairman and chief executive, says in a prepared statement. "It makes sense, if you are looking to tap into economic growth, to consider an investment in China."
Support Your Local Embezzler (1998)
Three weeks before the gender flap broke, the state of California, the city of San Francisco, and Bank of America announced that they are about to settle a lawsuit that accused the bank of "consciously, maliciously, and fraudulently" stealing up to $3 billion from the people of California. Without admitting wrongdoing, BofA is promising to pay $187.5 million to its accusers. The suit, originally filed by a whistle-blower in 1995 and later joined by the state's Attorney General, the city, and about 300 local governments from across the state, accused the bank of deliberately keeping as profit hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed bond funds that should have been turned over to the governments. The suit also claimed that the bank overcharged 1,000 California jurisdictions for handling $100 billion worth of municipal bond issues in the past 50 years. The lawsuit further accused the bank of willfully destroying accounting records that detailed its transgressions. The allegations were almost too staggering for the financially uninitiated to comprehend. As SF Weekly reported in a December 31, 1997, cover story "The Great Bank Thievery," if the lawsuit's accusations were proven at trial they would most likely constitute the largest criminal conspiracy in state history.