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Posted at 3:01 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Next WikiLeaks leak: Bank of America?

By Ariana Eunjung Cha

The financial world is abuzz with guesses about which bank's secret documents Wikileaks has gotten hold of.

In an interview with Forbes published this week, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange promised to release a trove of documents in early 2011 that "could take down a bank or two." He said the documents will show "flagrant violations" and "unethical practices" at the executive level.

While Assange declined to name names, last year in an interview with Computer World he offered hints at what he has. "At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive's hard drives," Assange said, according to a piece published Oct. 9, 2009.

Here are key excerpts from his Forbes interview:

So do you have very high impact corporate stuff to release then?

Yes, but maybe not as high-impact...I mean, it could take down a bank or two.

That sounds like high impact.

But not as big an impact as the history of a whole war. But it depends on how you measure these things.
...

These megaleaks, as you call them, we haven't seen any of those from the private sector.

No, not at the same scale as for the military.

Will we?

Yes. We have one related to a bank coming up -- that's a megaleak. It's not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it's either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it.

Is it a U.S. bank?

Yes, it's a U.S. bank.

One that still exists?
Yes, a big U.S. bank.

The biggest U.S. bank?

No comment.

When will it happen?

Early next year. I won't say more.

What do you want to be the result of this release?

[Pauses] I'm not sure.

It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume.

Usually when you get leaks at this level, it's about one particular case or one particular violation. For this, there's only one similar example. It's like the Enron emails. Why were these so valuable? When Enron collapsed, through court processes, thousands and thousands of emails came out that were internal, and it provided a window into how the whole company was managed. It was all the little decisions that supported the flagrant violations.

This will be like that. Yes, there will be some flagrant violations, unethical practices that will be revealed, but it will also be all the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos that cames out, and that's tremendously valuable. Like the Iraq War Logs, yes there were mass casualty incidents that were very newsworthy, but the great value is seeing the full spectrum of the war.

You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it's also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that's not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they're fulfilling their own self-interest. The way they talk about it.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | November 30, 2010; 3:01 PM ET
Categories:  Corporations  
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Next: Economic agenda: Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010

Comments


What we NEED is the inside workings of Goldman Sachs. The killer of the American
economic system. Of capitalism.

But of course the fine old Je wish firm of GS people embeded all over the government, in fact mostly in charge of the goveernment with AIPAC, will
be devilsihly hard to

Posted by: whistling | November 30, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

WikiLeaks has really become a faciltator for the truth.
Therefore with the truth- there is reason to give hope for a better future for America.

It is almost impossible to fight a lie,
but it is absolutely impossible to hide the truth.

Michael LittleBig ©
Cleveland Ohio

Posted by: Michael LittleBig | November 30, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse


What we NEED is the inside workings of Goldman Sachs. The killer of the American
economic system. Of capitalism.

But of course the fine old Je wish firm of GS people embeded all over the government, in fact mostly in charge of the goveernment with AIPAC, will
be devilsihly hard to

Posted by: whistling | November 30, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Let us pray that there will never be a Stinky leak from Swiss banks disclosing the names of the 50 thousand account holders with deposits of more than 10 million. God in his infinite mercy would never allow that information to be made public.

Posted by: morristhewise | November 30, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The Zionist conspiracy of Wall Street taking over the government to bring down capitalism? Now I've heard everything. Are they the same people that put the transmitters in your cereal so they can moniter your precious bodily fluids?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 30, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

It couldn't happen to a worst bank. BofA is the worst of the worst. I hope Wikileaks drops BofA stock to zero and takes them down permanently. They are so corrupt it's better to shut them down. Hey Assange you don't have anything on Wells Fargo do you? I'd give good money to see WF take a huge hit too.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | November 30, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Why has any coverage been given to this creep?? His only purpose is to take down the US, and the media as usual has given way to much attention to his sinister organization.
I hear the "minister" in Florida is going to burn a Koran....hurry hurry media lemmings to cover this breaking story.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 30, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

We need Julian Assange. Our government and our media as an agenda of war. Notice how President Obama's focus on the economy has morphed into a focus on the deficit. The public agenda and the private agenda are almost diametrically opposed to one another. The aggregation of wealth to a very small minority of billionaires continues unabated under Republicans or Democrats. The spread of economic misery into the middle class in order to pay war debt, even as more wars are being actively planned, is the unstoppable agenda. There are no solutions for anything big or small. Our government couldn't change a light bulb. I love this new topic being pushed out about "American Exceptional-ism" Would you like that with a large order of fries and a cherry pie or an M16 and a flak jacket? The diabetic fatso in the tri-corn hat says he'll take the fries and pie.

Posted by: tm13 | November 30, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

If you believe in the free-market and believe that it removes the inefficiencies in the system and corrects itself you should not be afraid of the truth when it comes out and washes away those inefficiencies. lol.

Assange is the journalistic equivalent of short-sellers, removing inefficiencies in the information world, something the so-called free press was supposed to do but sold-out too soon and therefore failed to do - I used to laugh uptill last week at how wrong the free press always got it, now, maybe they'll get some of it right. lol.

Its not what America knows that's a problem - its what America doesn't know that is the actual problem. lol.

That being said, I am going back and joining the millions of people still searching for pics of that "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian Nurse, hopefully Gaddafi has better taste in "Veblooshka"s than Putin has. lol.

Posted by: darkasnight1234 | November 30, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Rich people in this country need and would take the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and eyes of dead soldiers if they could possibly get their greedy hands on them - and some of them probably do. We need Julian Assange in the worst way.

Posted by: tm13 | November 30, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

the state department wikileak was the work of carefully placed CIA "reservists" who are employed by the most powerful financiers in the world...

it was an attempt to create media hysteria and get all the imbeciles riled up using phrases like treason, and threat to national security... they used Pvt Manning as cover... only everyone knows Pvt Manning only uploaded a single file... the famous blackhawk video ...

this is what the government insiders are afraid will get released... this and even more information...

this is the type of thing that educates the average american about what has been keeping them enslaved for the past 200 years... bankers... wall street... their wealth increases almost exponentially year after year...

while the masses have been flat lined and declining.

Posted by: FranknErnest | November 30, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Julian Assange is a hero. We need many more like him who can shine a light into the inner workings of government and large corporations. We now have a government that requires us to virtually strip naked in order to fly on a plane, which requires that elderly grandmothers have their genitals fondled by TSA officials in order to go visit their grandchildren, and yet this same government which asks us to bare all secrets to it, shrouds many of its workings in total darkness.

As is often said, if you have done nothing wrong, there is nothing to hide.

The citizens have a right to know what their government is doing. There should be webcams in every government office. We should be able to spy on every member of congress twenty four hours a day and monitor what they are doing and saying, who they are talking to, what they are promising to those who give them bushels of cash. The government basically demands the same of us. All our phone conversations, all our banking transactions, all our credit card purchases, every thing we browse on the internet is all scooped up by this government and analyzed. Yet, we are forbidden from knowing much about this supposedly most open and transparent of all administrations.

Yes, Julian Assange is a hero and may there be many more like him. Eventually we will live in an age when governments and corporations can not act without everyone knowing what they are doing. It is time for governments and corporations to embrace openness and let the cameras shine on everything they do.

Posted by: BowHill | November 30, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Those negotiations will be televised on CSPAN".

Now who was the fellow who uttered that famous lie?


Complete disclosure?
BRING IT ON!
(Another famous-guy who had no intention of following his words...).

Posted by: wcmillionairre | November 30, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

My guess is Saudi-owned Citibank.

Posted by: WillSeattle | November 30, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr Assange may learn that American corporations are a lot less civilized than any world government, including our own.
Going after one of them could be fatal.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | November 30, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Julian Assange is no hero. He should be locked up in a non-white collar facility. Then you will see some real leaks.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 30, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Heck, how can I give them my documents on how BofA lied to me for a year while I was trying to get a mortgage refinance? Good for Wikileaks.

Posted by: AdventurerVA | November 30, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

If the worst financial crisis since the Depression caused once again by banks could not bring down the Banks I have high doubts about whether Assage's revelation will make a dent on them! What will it reveal that we already don't know? That they are immoral people who dupe innocent people everyday or bet against their own country men/women defaulting on their mortgage? Or that they have a nexus with the government, and are making merry at the cost of tax payers money? Or that they fund illegal activities across the globe? I think Assage thinks he is God, maybe he can act God with the government and issues regarding national security etc. but with banks he has met his match in the form of an indestructible DEVIL who have more money than GOD!

Posted by: celene_51 | November 30, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

When I was a kid,. my folks helped me open a savings account at the local B of A. That was back in the good old days when this country's leaders had some brains and integrity; back when banks were statewide and not the worldwide monsters we have today.
I bank with a small, local bank. I learned how to do simple math before I was 10. I have never paid a dime to "service charges" while banking.
Today, B of A gives me the creeps. The last time I went into a B of A branch to cash a check drawn on an account there, I was asked many personal questions about where I bank, would I like to open an account there and, ultimately, why I didn't want to open an account with B of A? In passing, the teller then informed me that it was going to cost me 5 bucks to cash the check.
A P Giannini is rolling in his grave.
I personally hope that this bank disappears from the face of the Earth. Right on!, Mr. Assange, let the cow chips fall where they may.

Posted by: mikie44 | November 30, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

OMG! The truth, told unfiltered.
Can we withstand this rush of cold reality?
Darn right. We always have.

Posted by: mtpeaks | November 30, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

This is what is so amazing to me. Check out this comment below from a 2004 report - which was from a Senate Special Committee Hearing back in 1998 - regarding Predatory Lenders…

I've said it here many times - these subprime loans were designed to fail. They specifically "strategically" sold those loans to folks that COULD NOT REPAY - KNOWING they would default when the loan reset. Millions of families now in foreclosure and these families STILL DO NOT KNOW what happened. They were given those loans BECAUSE the banks knew these families could not figure it out.

“As one self-confessed predatory lender described in testimony to the U.S. Senate, predatory lenders target “blue-collar workers, people who have not gone to college, older people who are on fixed incomes, non-English-speaking people and people who have significant equity in their homes.” Moreover, once a predatory lender has secured a victim, his goal is to keep returning in order to repeatedly flip – refinance – the victim’s loan, churning additional fees and stripping additional equity each time. However, once a borrower has been trapped in an equity-stripping loan, her loan-to-value ratio is likely too high to ever allow her to trade up to legitimate subprime financing.”

“Equity Predators: Stripping, Flipping and Packing Their Way to Profits: Hearing Before the Senate Special Comm. on Aging, 105th Cong. (n.p.) (1998) [hereinafter Testimony of Jim Dough] (statement of “Jim Dough,” Anonymous Employee, Finance Co.) (“[M]y perfect customer would be an uneducated widow who is on a fixed income – hopefully from her deceased husband’s pension and social security – who has her house paid off, is living off of credit cards, but having a difficult time keeping up her payments, and who must make a car payment in addition to her credit card payments.”), available at http://aging.senate.gov/ events/hr14jd.htm (Mar. 16, 1998).”

----end snip----

Why are we still having Senate Hearings instead of ARRESTING & PROSECUTING the thieves?

But - the SEC just let them off the hook again...? I can give WP 400-megs of Internal Documents exposing the illegal loans - but no takers... Some files with over 1000 pgs - showing their market strategies - just like the predatory lender above...

Congress has been hearing the same things for 15yrs. They act as-if it were brand-new information...


Posted by: Anonymous | November 30, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Julian's attacks on the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department were courageous. But his threat to expose Wall St. is suicidal. Please read "WikiLeaks' Assange now a marked man" on www.WRISEUP.COM.

Posted by: henrymcrandall | November 30, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make the thocons blush.....

Posted by: areyousaying | November 30, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

The sad part will be the governments reaction to the BofA leaks will be much more tenacious than the response to wikileaks giving away secrets endangering our troops. Big businesses run our Gov and they will not stand for wikileaks telling their secrets.
Government knows who fills the trough. I'm not kidding compare the responses when the next one releases.

Posted by: stikyfingas | November 30, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Next: Bank of America
After that: Washington Redskins

Posted by: EliPeyton | November 30, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

If the Bankers can detroy the American economy-will they kill Julian to protect
their quest for financial world domination?

My prayers are with you Julian-

Posted by: Michael LittleBig | December 1, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

And the coverup begins! Banks In Talks To End Bond Probe By Jean Eaglesham The Wall Street Journal 2 December 2010 A1 (Copyright (c) 2010, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.) U.S. securities regulators are in preliminary discussions with several major Wall Street banks aimed at reaching settlements to resolve a broad investigation of their sales of mortgage-bond deals that helped unleash the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter. The probe involves complex pools of mortgages and other loans called collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, slices of which were sold to different investors. Wall Street has come under intense fire from critics for its sale of the securities, seen as a central factor in the crisis. Settling the allegations would resolve one of the biggest law-enforcement threats hanging over leading banks. The Securities and Exchange Commission, after issuing subpoenas for documents and interviewing officials from nearly every bank that was a major player in creating, selling or trading CDOs,

Posted by: Anonymous | December 2, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Banks In Talks To End Bond Probe By Jean Eaglesham The Wall Street Journal 2 December 2010 A1 (Copyright (c) 2010, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.) U.S. securities regulators are in preliminary discussions with several major Wall Street banks aimed at reaching settlements to resolve a broad investigation of their sales of mortgage-bond deals that helped unleash the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter. The probe involves complex pools of mortgages and other loans called collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, slices of which were sold to different investors. Wall Street has come under intense fire from critics for its sale of the securities, seen as a central factor in the crisis. Settling the allegations would resolve one of the biggest law-enforcement threats hanging over leading banks. The Securities and Exchange Commission, after issuing subpoenas for documents and interviewing officials from nearly every bank that was a major player in creating, selling or trading CDOs,

Posted by: awesomelm | December 2, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Julian Assange deserves our gratitude and a Nobel prize. Instead, he will be hounded and possibly killed, as an example to all the rest of us not to mess with the status quo. When we have all lost our homes and are stuck renting from corporate housing authorities, perhaps we will care how the trick was done.
Like the german people turning their heads in Hitler's day, we see them come for the panhandler, then the welfare mom, then the stay at home mom, then the unemployed, then the sick, disabled and elderly, until finally there is no-one left to care what happens to what is left of the middle class. Almost a third of Americans earn under $25,000, twenty-five percent earn between $25,000 and $50,000, and only five percent earn over $150,000.
What is really striking about the figures is the realization that the wealth that is produced, our gross national product, is the result of labor. The service industry makes its living as a spin-off of labor, so to speak. But the laborer's pay is much lower than the salesman's. No one wants a career as a laborer or farmer, it doesn't pay enough.
Tell me again, if you still believe it, why and how capitalism motivates productivity. Even invention is stifled where the inventor knows that he will not be able to protect his patent against corporate lawyers.
The point is that Julian Assange is showing us frogs how the cooks intended to turn up the heat all along.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 2, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Funny how my computer starts to act up when I comment on this article for the second time...
My guess is USB, but they are all the same. It is about time someone gave the common folks a glimpse of what is going on in the corporate world. It is about the wealthy hoarding their wealth, and refusing to invest in any country that does not allow them to exploit the people and resources. We force these countries to adopt our financial rules, but say nothing about environmental or employment protections.
We are like those in Hitler's Germany who turned their heads; they came for the panhandler, then the welfare mom, then the stay at home mom, then the unemployed, now its the sick and elderly who are being cut out. One day our children will all rent corporate housing and slave for retirement at age seventy, while the elite enjoy a lifetime of leisure accrued at our expense today.
Half of America lives on less than $50,000 a year, and half of those make less than $25,000. The problem is that the ones who do the labor make the least, while the "service sector" those who exploit the labor prosper. No one wants to be a farmer or a laborer; it doesn't pay enough to live.
Tell me again how capitalism motivates production?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 2, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

OK, both my posts made it under "anonymous" but I signed in as "Chispaquitena"

Posted by: Anonymous | December 2, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

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