Thursday, January 28, 2010

Breaking from
Hillary Clinton Says She Won't Serve Eight Years

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she would not serve a full eight years if President Barack Obama wins another term, hoping eventually to retire to writing and teaching.

Clinton, who has spent two decades in the national spotlight and narrowly lost her own bid to be president in 2008, said she enjoyed her job as the top US diplomat but found it physically grueling.

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Asked by talk-show host Tavis Smiley if she would serve eight years, she replied: "No, I really can't."

"The whole eight -- that would be very challenging," she said in the interview broadcast Wednesday on public television.

"It's a 24-7 job and I think at some point, I will be very happy to pass it on to someone else," Clinton said.

Clinton repeated that she would not run again for president, saying she wanted a private life after a career in which she has served as first lady and a US senator.

"There are so many things I'm interested in, really going back to private life and spending time reading and writing and maybe teaching. Maybe some personal travel -- not the kind of travel where you bring a couple of hundred people with you," she said.

Clinton said she also hoped throughout her life to be a strong advocate for the rights of women and girls.

Clinton, who has often faced critical media coverage, said that she found it "a joy" to work with reporters covering the State Department.

"They are very substantive. They live and breathe the difficult issues that we cope with every day," she said.

She said she learned long ago to take press coverage "seriously but not personally" -- but acknowledged her concerns during her campaign to be the first female president.

"What I was not prepared for was a lot of the criticism that I thought had less to do with me and more to do with attitudes about women," she said.

"That was surprising to me -- it was 2007 and 2008. But that's something we still have to work on in this country."

Secretaries of state in recent times have rarely served more than one presidential term, although George Shultz was in office for six and a half years under Ronald Reagan.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved

Monday, January 18, 2010

United States occupation of Haiti - The first United States occupation of Haiti began on July 28, 1915 and ended in mid-August, 1934.

From 1911 to 1915 there were six different Presidents of Haiti, each of whom was killed or forced into exile.[1] The revolutionary armies were formed by cacos, peasant brigands from the mountains of the north, along the porous Dominican border, who were enlisted by rival political factions with promises of money to be paid after a successful revolution and an opportunity to plunder.

The United States was particularly apprehensive about the role of the small German community in Haiti (approximately 200 in 1910), who wielded a disproportionate amount of economic power. German nationals controlled about 80 percent of the country's international commerce. They also owned and operated utilities in Cap Haïtien and Port-au-Prince, the main wharf and a tramway in the capital, and a railroad serving the Plaine de Cul-du-Sac.

The German community proved more willing to integrate into Haitian society than any other group of white foreigners, including the more numerous French. Some Germans married into the nation's most prominent mulatto families, thus bypassing the constitutional prohibition against foreign land-ownership. They also served as the principal financiers of the nation's innumerable revolutions, floating innumerable loans-at high interest rates-to competing political factions.

In an effort to limit German influence, in 1910-11 the State Department backed a consortium of American investors, assembled by the National City Bank of New York, in acquiring control of the Banque National d'Haïti, the nation's only commercial bank and the government treasury.

In February 1915 Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam established a dictatorship, but in July, facing a new revolt, he massacred 167 political prisoners, all of whom were from elite families. Sam was then lynched by a mob in Port-au-Prince.

It is alleged that a popular uprising against Sam threatened American business interests in the country (such as HASCO). Because of these competing interests and the possibility of the cacos-supported anti-American Rosalvo Bobo emerging as the next President of Haiti, the American government decided to act quickly to preserve their economic dominance over Haiti.[2]

American President Woodrow Wilson sent 330 U.S. Marines to Port-au-Prince on July 28, 1915. The specific order from the Secretary of the Navy to the invasion commander, Admiral William Deville Bundy, was to "protect American and foreign" interests. However, to avoid public criticism the occupation was labelled as a mission to “re-establish peace and order...[and] has nothing to do with any diplomatic negotiations of the past or the future” as disclosed by Rear Admiral Caperton.[3]

The Haitian government had been receiving large loans from both American and French banks over the past few decades and were growing increasingly incapable in fulfilling their debt repayment. If an anti-American government prevailed under the leadership of Rosalvo Bobo, there would be no promise of any debt repayment, and the refusal of American investments would have been assured. Within six weeks of the occupation, representatives from the United States controlled Haitian customs houses and administrative institutions such as banks and the national treasury. Through American manipulation, 40% of the national income was used to alleviate the debt repayment to both American and French banks.[4]Despite the large sums due to overseas banks, this economic decision ignored the interests of the majority of the Haitian population and froze the economic growth the country needed. For the next nineteen years, advisors of the United States governed the country, enforced by the United States Marine Corps.[citation needed]

Government and opposition

Representatives from the United States wielded veto power over all governmental decisions in Haiti, and Marine Corps commanders served as administrators in the provinces. Local institutions, however, continued to be run by Haitians, as was required under policies put in place during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.

Opposition to the Occupation began immediately after the Marines entered Haiti in 1915. The rebels (called "cacos" by the U.S. Marines) vehemently tried to resist American control of Haiti. In response, the Haitian and American governments began a vigorous campaign to disband the rebel armies. Perhaps the best-known account of this skirmishing came from Marine Major Smedley Butler, awarded a Medal of Honor for his exploits, and went on to serve as commanding officer of the Haitian Gendarmerie. (He later expressed his disapproval of the U.S. intervention in his book War Is a Racket.)

Philippe Sudré Dartiguenave, the mulatto president of the Senate, agreed to accept the presidency of Haiti after several other candidates had refused on principle. In 1917, President Dartiguenave dissolved the legislature after its members refused to approve a constitution written by Franklin D. Roosevelt (then Assistant Secretary of the Navy)[5] However, a referendum subsequently approved the new constitution in 1918 (by a vote of 98,225 to 768). It was a generally a liberal document. The constitution allowed foreigners to purchase land. Jean-Jacques Dessalines had forbidden land ownership by foreigners, and since 1804, some Haitians had viewed foreign ownership as anathema.[citation needed]

The occupation of Haiti continued after World War I, despite the embarrassment that it caused Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and the scrutiny of a congressional inquiry in 1922.

In 1922, Dartiguenave was replaced by Louis Borno, who ruled without a legislature until 1930. That same year, General John H. Russell, Jr. was appointed High Commissioner. The Borno-Russel dictatorship oversaw the expansion of the economy, building over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of road, establishing an automatic telephone exchange, modernizing the nation's port facilities, and establishing a public health service. Sisal was introduced to Haiti, and sugar and cotton became significant exports.[6]

However, efforts to develop commercial agriculture met with limited success, in part because much of Haiti's labor force was employed as seasonal workers in the more-established sugar industries of Cuba and the Dominican Republic. An estimated 30,000-40,000 Haitian laborers, known as braceros, went annually to the Oriente Province of Cuba between 1913 and 1931.[7] Most Haitians continued to resent the loss of sovereignty. At the forefront of opposition among the educated elite was L'Union Patriotique, which established ties with opponents of the occupation in the U.S. itself, in particular the NAACP.[citation needed]

The Great Depression decimated the prices of Haiti's exports, and destroyed the tenuous gains of the previous decade. In December 1929, Marines in Les Cayes killed ten Haitian peasants during a march to protest local economic conditions.[citation needed] This led Herbert Hoover to appoint two commissions, including one headed by a former U.S. governor of the Philippines William Cameron Forbes, which criticized the exclusion of Haitians from positions of authority in the government and constabulary, now known as the Garde d'Haïti.

Transition to fully Haitian government

In 1930, Sténio Vincent, a long-time critic of the occupation, was elected President.

By 1930, President Herbert Hoover had become concerned about the effects of the occupation, particularly after a December 1929 incident in Les Cayes. Hoover appointed two commissions to study the situation. A former governor general of the Philippines, William Cameron Forbes, headed the more prominent of the two.

The Forbes Commission praised the material improvements that the U.S. administration had wrought, but it criticized the exclusion of Haitians from positions of real authority in the government and the constabulary, which had come to be known as the Garde d'Haïti. In more general terms, the commission further asserted that "the social forces that created [instability] still remain — poverty, ignorance, and the lack of a tradition or desire for orderly free government."

The Hoover administration did not fully implement the recommendations of the Forbes Commission; but United States withdrawal was under way by 1932, when Hoover lost the presidency to Franklin Roosevelt, the presumed author of the most recent Haitian constitution and the proponent of "Good Neighbor policy". On a visit to Cap-Haïtien in July 1934, Roosevelt reaffirmed an August 1933 disengagement agreement. The last contingent of U.S. Marines departed on August 15, 1934 after a formal transfer of authority to the Garde. [8] The U.S. retained influence on Haiti's external finances until 1947.[9]

Effects of the occupation on Haiti

This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2008)

The occupation by the United States had several significant effects on Haiti. An early period of unrest culminated in a 1918 rebellion by up to 40,000 former cacos and other disgruntled people. The scale of the uprising overwhelmed the Gendarmerie, but Marine reinforcements helped put down the revolt at an estimated cost of 2,000 Haitian lives.[citation needed]

Thereafter, order prevailed to a degree that most Haitians had never witnessed.[citation needed] Infrastructure improvements were particularly impressive: 1700 km of roads were made usable, 189 bridges were built, many irrigation canals were rehabilitated, hospitals, schools, and public buildings were constructed, and drinking water was brought to the main cities. Port au-Prince became the first city of Latin America to have phone service available with automatic dialing. Agricultural education was organized with a central school of agriculture and 69 farms in the country.

When it came to living conditions, the Americans inhabited the neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince in houses that the majority of Haitians would only dream of. Consequently the neighborhood in which the Americans lived was called the “millionaire's row.”[10] Hans Schmidt accounted an officer's opinion on the matter of segregation: “I can't see why they wouldn't have a better time with their crowd, just as I do with mine."[11]American intolerance provoked indignation and resentment — and eventually a racial pride that was reflected in the work of a new generation of Haitian historians, ethnologists, writers, artists, and others, many of whom later became active in politics and government. The mulatto elite managed to dominate the country's bureaucracy and to strengthen its role in national affairs.

The occupation greatly improved some of Haiti's infrastructure. By doing so, the centralized power in Port-au-Prince was solidified. Roads were improved and expanded through the use of Haitian labor.[citation needed]

The education system was re-designed from the ground up; however, this involved the destruction of the existing system of "Liberal Arts" education inherited (and adapted) from the French. Due to its emphasis on vocational training, the American system that replaced the French was despised by the elite.[citation needed]

All three rulers during the occupation came from the country's small mulatto minority. At the same time, many in the growing black professional classes departed from the traditional veneration of Haiti's French cultural heritage and emphasized the nation's African roots, most notably ethnologist Jean Price-Mars and the journal Les Griots, edited by Dr. François Duvalier.[citation needed]

See also History of Haiti Banana Wars

Further reading
Renda, Mary A. (2001). Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915-1940. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4938-3.
Schmidt, Hans (1995). United States occupation of Haiti (1915-1934). Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-2203-X.
Harper's Magazine advertisement: Why Should You Worry About Haiti? by the Haiti-Santo Domingo Independence Society
Boot, Max. The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power. New York, Basic Books: 2002. ISBN 0-465-00721-X

Weston, Rubin Francis (1972). Racism in U.S. Imperialism: The Influence of Racial Assumptions on American Foreign Policy, 1893-1946. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87294-219-2.
Marvin, George (February 1916). "Assassination And Intervention In Haiti: Why The United States Government Landed Marines On The Island And Why It Keeps Them There". The World's Work: A History of Our Time XXXI: 404–410. Retrieved 2009-08-04.


1.^ Robert Heinl, Pg. 791
2.^ Weinstein, Segal 1984, p.28.
3.^ Weston 1972, p.217.
4.^ Weinstein, Segal 1984, p.29.
5.^ Roosevelt assereted his authorship of the Haitian Constitution in several speeches during his 1920 campaign for Vice President - which was at best a politically awkward overstatement and caused some controversy in the campaign. (Arthur Schlesinger, The Crisis of the Old Order, 364, citing 1920 Roosevelt Papers for speeches in Spokane, San Francisco, and Centralia.)
6.^ Henl, Pg. 454-455
7.^ Bridget Woodling, Richard Moseley-Williams Needed but unwanted: Haitian Immigrants and their Descendants in the Dominican Republict (Catholic Institute for International Relations: London, 2004) Pg. 24
8.'^ p 223 - Benjamin Beede (in ENGLISH). The War of 1898 and U.S. Interventions, 1898-1934: An Encyclopedia (May 1, 1994 ed.). Routledge; 1 edition. pp. 784. ISBN 0824056248.
The Haitian and U.S. governments reached a mutually satisfactory agreement in the Executive Accord of 7 Aug 1933, and on 15 August, the last marines departed.
9.^ Schmidt, Hans. The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934 New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1995. (232)
10.^ Schmidt 1995, p.152.
11.^ Schmidt 1995, p.137-38.


Schmidt, Hans. The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1995.
Weinstein, Brian and Aaron Segal (in ENGLISH). Haiti; Political Failures. Cultural Successes (February 15, 1984 ed.). Praeger Publishers. pp. 175. ISBN 0275912914.
Weston, Rubin Francis. Racism in U.S. Imperialism: The Influence of Racial Assumptions on American Foreign Policy, 1893-1946. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press. 1972
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Related articles List of conflicts in the US · List of wars involving the US · Timeline of US military operations · Length of U.S. participation in major wars · Overseas expansion · Military history · Covert regime-change actions · Casualties of war

Saturday, January 16, 2010

LIMON CO (IFS) - US Navy Recon video dated January 15, 2010, of destruction of Haiti. At the time of this writing, it is estimated that 100,000 persons are dead. Top scientists from around the world had predicted this earthquake over a year ago, and told the Haitian president what the model had laid out. Yet, the government had nothing in place, and as usual, they took the money and spent it on themselves and did nothing for the people.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

LIMON CO (IFS) - Google should pull out of China, like nine of the major electronic companies around the world have. Their hacking themselves is "cutting ouf your nose, to spit your face". China's computer people are very savy, but a little to much for their own good. Get out while you can, and forget about redacting their web search engines to keep their people blind. Let them go down the path to self destruction. It will be easier for us in the long run.

Friday, January 08, 2010

LIMON CO (IFS) - Krystle Lynn Smith - An Open Letter to a longtime missing daughter! It's very sad when one parent keeps another parent at bay, and that child grows up with only one side of story, and that one sided story becomes total fact and fiction. When it is very sad and apparent that you have taken the one side as fact or fiction, and have refuse at this time to listening to the other side. This too is understandable, do to the situation that you had no input or contribution to the outcome. It's a good thing that you did not enter the law business, because you would be loosing all of your cases, as a great attorney must argue both sides of the question in order to come to a just conclusion to formulate his or her case. It is also a testament as to how one parent can keep a child hidden for so many years without every letting the other parent know the health, welfare and physical condition of the offspring, and only if that offspring did something against the law, only then would that parent be notified when that child was in trouble with the law - then it's your problem! If your child is never in trouble, you would have no way of tracing him or her. It has been over 23 years since the last time I saw my daughter, as her mother went to great lengths to keep the police and district attorneys in my life, and hiding my child. It has taken all these years to find my daughter. She was very confused when she asked, why now did my side of the family attempt to contact her, and she was not ready to speak to me. I understood all of that argument, as over the years in was a complete struggle with the law enforcement agencies who believed it was in the child's best interest to keep me away from my daughter. Krystle Lynn Smith grew up with three of her siblings, Sean M Shields, Kristi Shields and Ryan Shields. Krystle also have two sister on her father's side of the family, Kristine and Sara. Yet with malice and deliberate forethought, Karen kept you hidden from us. What she did not realize that one day, we would be making contact with you. It may have taken us some time, but we were as determine to find you, as Karen was determine to hide you. And yes, you would be placed in a position to make a decision to either contact us or not. But at least you have a choice. That's more than we had when you were growing up.
This is a story of revenge and how one parent uses the child as a shield to advance her own agenda against the other parent. It comes down to the child being pulled apart in between two parents and causing great confusion in the child's mind. Even when one parent, just pulls back, so that the child will not be confused and not being used as a pond in the middle of two childish adults, the child is still confused. Yet, Karen Linda McCray Shields Smith managed to hide Krystle with great success, and I commend her for her great efforts. and keeping you 23 years in hiding. But in the end, instant karma still plays its' hand. One can not do ugly and get away with it. You always pay in the end. Which comes to Krystle's oldest brother Sean, who was full of life and was going to be a surgeon, that was his dream since he was a little boy.
It broke my heart to find out that Sean died on April 26, 1994, a child, and his death was never listed in any newspaper, no country, no ocean, no space, no continent, nowhere on this earth. Sean died according to his sister when she was Seven years old, and her mother and grandmother took in real hard. That was about as much information, one can get from a young woman, who is talking to her father's oldest daughter for the first time, and asking why are you now attempting to find me?
It is with great difficultly to answer that question, when one has been attempting to search for her all the time, with the law standing in the way because her mother made the situation that way. When you don't want the other side to have a chance or to hide the true and create total chaos, because you did not get it your way.
I see the news where mother's tell their husband's and boyfriends that they have killed their kids, and or gave them away -- anything so that it will inflict the greatest amount of mental pain upon the other. And then there are the mothers who just kill their kids by drowning them, burning them up in houses, shooting them and leaving them with total strangers. One can only fight for so long, when you know what the outcome is going to be time after time.
The best deal that I could offer Mrs. McCray-Shields-Smith, was that she could have stayed married, and all I wanted was access to my child. Her response was to give me and my family no access at all, because she was "Mad" not angry; not even a picture, a word, with all Christmas cards, presents, birthday cards, being returned back to the child welfare department, and a warning from these people that I would be put in jail for harassment. Karen, God does not like ugly! Karen wanted to be very selfish and keep you all to herself. Knowing that you have sisters on your father's side of the family, with grandparents, cousins, always asking about you, wanting to know if the private detectives had found anything about you. Karen did hide you well, as many parents do, when they are in a tog-of-war for the child. And Karen, I'm so sorry that Sean had to pay for your sins, when he had nothing to with it, even when he lied in court on me, and the lies you coached him to say. I told you, that your lying was going to get you in a lot of hot water and that one day you were going to pay for it. You can not perpetuate a lie and believe that you can get away with it -- that's ghetto thinking -- as it comes back to bite you in the ass every time. Sean was going to be somebody, he was a contender.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Reuters - Workers protest after attending a union campaign launch at the Cadbury factory in Bournville, central England, December 15, ...
By Jessica Wohl

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:BRK-A - News) issued a stern warning to Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT - News) Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld, saying it opposed the food maker's plan to float new shares in pursuit of Cadbury Plc (LSE:CBRY.L - News).

It was the strongest statement yet by Berkshire questioning Kraft's hostile 10 billion pound cash and stock offer for the UK confectioner. Berkshire is Kraft's single largest shareholder, with a 9.4 percent stake in its own holdings and its pension funds.

Kraft shares rose 3.5 percent after the Berkshire statement, while Cadbury fell 3.3 percent on concerns opposition by Buffett would severely constrain a deal.

Berkshire said it voted against Kraft's proposal to issue up to 370 million shares to help the food maker buy Cadbury, but could reverse to a "yes" vote, depending on the final offer's details. Berkshire declined to elaborate further about the statement.

It said the proposal, if carried out, would give Kraft a "blank check" allowing it to change its offer for Cadbury.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kraft raised the cash portion of its offer to Cadbury shareholders, helped by a $3.7 billion deal to sell its North American frozen pizza business to Nestle. Kraft cited in part concern by its own investors over using undervalued company shares as currency.

"We worry very much that, indeed, there will be an additional change from the revision announced this morning," Berkshire said in its statement.

Buffett had already warned Kraft against paying too much for Cadbury, and investors said the new statement was a clear signal to Rosenfeld to tread carefully.

"If Buffett votes against something -- that carries a great deal of weight with other shareholders," said Jerry Bruni, CEO and portfolio manager of J.V. Bruni and Co, which holds Berkshire shares. "When he says no, no is what he says and means."


But some shareholders said the statement leaves Rosenfeld with room to maneuver.

"I don't think he's throwing a monkey wrench in the deal. This is Warren Buffett 101," said Frank Betz, a principal at Carret Zane Capital Management LLP and an owner of Berkshire shares who has played bridge with Buffett.

"He's often used the representation that one certainty is that people are going to continue to want to eat Dilly Bars," Betz said, referring to Dairy Queen ice cream bars. "By golly, if they are going to want to be eating dilly bars far into the future they are sure going to want to be eating Cadbury milk chocolate."

A Kraft spokeswoman said the company agrees its shares are "deeply undervalued," would remain disciplined and would not do anything that hurts shareholder value.

"He is our largest investor and one of the most respected investors in the world so of course we take his opinion seriously," she said of Buffett.

Berkshire said it does not believe any Kraft shareholder should vote "yes" to the proposal without knowing what they are voting for. However, it said that it would change its own vote from "no" to "yes" if, after seeing the final offer Kraft is expected to present later this month, it concludes that the offer does not destroy value for Kraft shareholders.

Back in September, Buffett warned Kraft not to overpay for Cadbury, saying: "Any time you're in a takeover, animal spirits run high and all of that. But Kraft has the disadvantage of using an undervalued stock."

"Using undervalued shares does make the deal more expensive," said Morningstar analyst Erin Swanson. "So while we agree with that, Berkshire's vote may not be enough to block a deal for Cadbury. It is definitely a pointed message about the unfavorable position that Berkshire holds regarding Kraft's pursuit of the confectionary firm."

(Additional reporting by Michael Erman and Lilla Zuill in New York, Jessica Hall in Philadelphia and Aaron Pressman in Boston; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Tim Dobbyn)

Monday, January 04, 2010

LIMON, CO (IFS) - Having been a good customer for over 30 years, I find that Wells Fargo Bank has out lived its usefulness as a viable servant to the needs of the people of the United States. It has become a parasite that has overtaken the financial soul of its' consumers and is now poisoning it's host. Once a consumer oriented business, it is now a wolf that preys on it's on customers without mercy and regards to their financial well-being. Wells Fargo Bank should be reduced to the foot notes of history in the banking industry and have its doors bolted shut. How can we kill off Wells Fargo Bank? By pulling your money out of their bank and go to anyone else but them. -KHS

What if Wal-Mart Entered Banking?

The big banks can try to pass on the tax to customers, but that provides an opening for their competitors, including credit unions, community banks, independent banks, and some online banks. For instance, Arianna Huffington and Rob Johnson of the Huffington Post recently launched a Move Your Money campaign urging Americans to do business with smaller community banks. These smaller institutions won't have to pay the levy, and they can pass on that savings to customers.

For just a moment, however, let's take industry lobbyists at face value. The banks will pass on the cost of this unfair, punitive, vindictive tax to customers. In that case, Washington should call the bankers' bluff by changing the competitive environment. Several years ago Wal-Mart (WMT) wanted to get into the banking business, and the industry opposed the retailing giant's move. But the world is quite a different place now, and opening up the market to more competition for basic banking services, such as checking, savings, and debit cards, could benefit consumers. Wal-Mart, in particular, could bring its monolithic drive for everyday low prices into the basic banking business. All of a sudden people may well ask themselves, "Why should I bank with big, high-fee banks when I can get good service at a cheap price at Wal-Mart?" Why indeed?

While consumers may fantasize about a customer-focused bank featuring smiley faces and low fees, the present reality remains ugly. Here's the real problem with Obama's proposed tax: It's a highly indirect and inefficient way to get at the issue of bank size, leverage, and risk-taking. There are other, far more important and dramatic regulatory initiatives to address the too-systemic-to-fail risk. The industry won't like them, but these changes include everything from higher mandated capital requirements to lower leverage ratios to off-the-shelf bankruptcy filings to contain financial contagion. As Raghuram Rajan, economist at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, recently put it: "You want a bank to face the full costs of any stupid thing it does on its own."

Simply put, the tax doesn't really amount to much. It's O.K. if it brings in some revenue to repay taxpayers. Under ideal circumstances, it would be a down payment on a much bigger reform package.

Farrell is contributing economics editor for BusinessWeek. You can also hear him on American Public Media's nationally syndicated finance program, Marketplace Money, as well as on public radio's business program Marketplace. His Sound Money column appears on

Wells Fargo ‘Chooses To Cheat Us’
by Guest Writers

Last week, I wrote about workers who were fighting back against Wells Fargo after the bank cut off credit to Quad City Die Casting factory on Moline, Ill., causing the factory to close. This week Wells Fargo has cut off health care benefits to the workers, which the workers say violates federal labor laws.

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1174, which represents the workers, has responded by filing charges today with the National Labor Relations Board. The company also informed employees that Wells Fargo would not approve the expenditure of owed vacation pay, and the company has refused to pay a 2 percent wage increase due the employees under their legally binding collective bargaining agreement.

As Wells Fargo cuts off credit to Quad City and forces it to break its collective bargaining agreement with its workers, the bank has $25 billion in federal bailout funds that were intended in part to make credit more available to businesses.

“Wells Fargo first ends financing, forcing our company to close, and now they won’t pay us what we are owed by law. To us, our vacation, insurance and wages mean everything to our families. But to Wells Fargo it’s pennies, not even a blip in their billions. Yet they choose to cheat us out of what we have earned.” said Deb Johann, a union member employed at the factory.

According to management officials, Wells Fargo approves all expenditures by the company on a weekly basis. Workers are calling upon federal officials to investigate the practices of Wells Fargo.

The UE that represents workers at the plant is the same union that occupied Republic Windows and Doors last summer. Its members are engaging in direct action against Wells Fargo, calling on the bank to keep the plant open. Workers continue to demand that Wells Fargo do what is necessary to keep the company in business until a sale of the company is finalized. According to parties familiar with the discussions, there are currently several interested parties looking to make a bid to purchase Quad City Die Casting.

The union says that after having received $25 billion in bailout money, Wells Fargo has an obligation to promote economic recovery by keeping the plant open. UE Director of Organization Bob Kingsley said, “We can’t let this giant bank default on its obligation to the American people and the people of the Quad Cities. Wells Fargo is a roadblock to economic recovery.”

Growing up the son of a union organizer in Pittsburgh, PA, Mike Elk has been a part of the labor movement for nearly his entire life. Currently, he works on the health care reform team at Campaign for America’s Future. He has worked as a union organizer for the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers (UE) and the Obama-Biden Campaign. Mike served as a research fellow at the Instituto Marques de Salamanca in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil helping to set up worker run cooperatives. When Mike is not scanning a twenty blogs at a time, he enjoys jazz, golden retrievers, and making friends of stranger. He blogs at Yinzer Solidarity.

Former Wells Fargo Subprime Loan Officer: Bank Targeted Black Churches as Part of Predatory Subprime Lending Scheme

Up until two years ago, Elizabeth Jacobson was the top producing loan officer in the subprime division at Wells Fargo. Today she is speaking out against the practices of her former company. Earlier this summer, she filed a sworn affidavit with a federal court in support of the city of Baltimore’s lawsuit against Wells Fargo for pushing high-interest, subprime loans onto African Americans in Baltimore and the Maryland suburbs, leading hundreds into foreclosure.

Elizabeth Jacobson, Former loan officer at a Maryland branch of Wells Fargo. In June of this year, she submitted an affidavit in support of a federal lawsuit by the city of Baltimore against Wells Fargo. She now works in foreclosure defense.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Wells Fargo was one of the top ten subprime lenders in the country and is among the top recipients of taxpayer-funded bailout money under the Home Affordable Modification Program. But it’s also at the receiving end of lawsuits accusing the bank of unfair and misleading lending practices to minority communities and what’s often known as “reverse red-lining.”

In January of 2008, the city of Baltimore sued Wells Fargo for a range of deceptive practices to push high-interest, subprime loans onto African Americans in Baltimore and in Maryland suburbs, leading hundreds into foreclosure.

This July, the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued Wells Fargo for having, quote, “transformed our cities’ predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods, into ground zero for subprime lending.” In her statement, Madigan says, quote, “The dreams of many hardworking families have ended in foreclosure due to Wells Fargo’s illegal and unfair conduct.”

AMY GOODMAN: In June of this year, two former Wells Fargo employees filed sworn affidavits with a federal court in support of the city of Baltimore’s lawsuit. They allege Wells Fargo targeted African Americans for subprime loans and routinely steered customers qualified for prime loans toward subprime loans.

We’re joined now from Washington, DC by one of the whistleblowers, Elizabeth Jacobson, a former loan officer turned sales manager at Wells Fargo from 1998 to 2007. She now works in foreclosure defense.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Elizabeth Jacobson. Tell us your story. What did you do exactly at Wells Fargo, and when did you decide to blow the whistle?

ELIZABETH JACOBSON: I was at Wells Fargo for nine years, and I originated loans. Wells Fargo had two separate divisions: the prime division and the subprime division. And you could not originate prime loans if you were in the subprime division. So that’s what I did for nine years at Wells Fargo, is originate the subprime loans.

In the beginning years at Wells Fargo when I started, there was no filter system. So, if you had somebody come into your office and you could sell them a subprime loan, even if they qualified for a prime loan, that’s what you did. The compensation worked out that you had a huge incentive to put people into a subprime loan. Even the prime loan officers would make as much money on a prime loan—or on a subprime loan, referring it over to the subprime division, that they would make doing a prime loan. So there was an incentive for the prime loan officers to refer the business to the subprime side.

And as a company, Wells Fargo pushed the subprime loans, because it was their goal to have the subprime division pay for the fixed costs of the whole company. So there were quotas to be met. People—Wells Fargo puts out this projection that when somebody walked into a Wells Fargo office, they got put in the loan that was best suited for them. What happened was, whoever happened to be the loan officer at that time would put them in the loan they felt was best for them, and usually that meant how much money they could make off of the loan.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what were the differences in the incentives for employees, in terms of putting someone in a subprime versus a prime loan?

ELIZABETH JACOBSON: Well, just based on the commission, you would make sometimes three to four times as much in commission if you put somebody into a subprime loan. And you’d probably be thinking, well, why would somebody that perhaps had a really good credit score that could go prime end up in subprime?

So, when you looked at the initial rate, the teaser rate, on a 228 on a two-year arm, at that point the going rate may have been six, six-and-a-half percent, and that would be comparable to what was on the prime side. So when you got into the subprime loan, you’d have a similar rate, a similar payment. But in two years, that rate was going to adjust, and the first adjustment, it could increase by three percent up to nine percent, and then it could adjust by another three percent in another six months. So you’ve gone from six percent to 12 percent.

In addition, there was points on the loan. There could be two origination and two discount points. Generally, on a prime loan, the only reason you’d pay points is if you’re going to buy your rate down. But they were just selling payment. You just talked about what the payment was. And there were some loan officers out there that were just selling principal and interest payment, because on these subprime loans you did not have to escrow for taxes and insurance. Obviously, those payments had to be made, but the loan officer would get away with saying, “OK, this is your payment.”

And so, they’d be comparing it with other good-faith estimates of perhaps a prime loan, and they would actually think they were getting a better deal. In reality, they were not. And what would happen, as soon as they got to the table, things would switch. They might have thought they were in a thirty-year fixed, then all of a sudden they found out they were in a two-year arm.

AMY GOODMAN: Elizabeth, talk about what changed you.

ELIZABETH JACOBSON: Well, when I was hired by Wells Fargo, I had never worked in the mortgage industry at all. I had been a paralegal. So I took everything that Wells Fargo was telling me, that this is the way things were done. I didn’t question the fact that we were putting people in a 55 percent debt-to-income ratio and that we were only qualifying them based on the two years at the lower interest rate. The whole goal was, every two years you’re going to refinance that loan. So, it was sold as a two-year loan. These people were never intended to be in the loan for thirty years.

And as things started to happen in the economy, some time around in ’06, I could see that the guidelines were tightening up. And so, you’d question, well, why would they tighten up the guidelines if they said that they were doing responsible lending? They would—got rid of stated income loans at the lower credit scores. When I first started, you could get a stated income loan with a 520 credit score. So as things started to tighten up, and the response would always be, this is what the investors require. The investors are having trouble selling this loan, or people are defaulting on this loan, so they would internally tighten up the guidelines.

And then I just started to see, well, wait a minute, you know, we’re putting—we’re setting people up for failure, basically. And what really—the point that really made my decision that I was going to leave the company was third quarter of ’07. Wells Fargo was actually the number one subprime lender in the country. So, internally, we’re getting all these emails and all this information about “great job, we achieved our goal, we’re number one subprime lender in the country.”

And I happened to see a news report with the CFO of Wells Fargo, and he was questioned about the subprime division and denied at that point that Wells Fargo even had a subprime division. So here he is, the chief financial officer, where the subprime loans were supposed to be paying for the fixed costs of the company, and he’s denying that Wells Fargo even did subprime loans. That was just the final straw of total disillusionment, and then I put my resignation in.

AMY GOODMAN: You were the head of the subprime division that he was denying existed?

ELIZABETH JACOBSON: Right. Well, I was the top producer. I was originating approximately $55 million a year in subprime loans.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what about this whole issue that the city of Baltimore is raising about the targeting of minority communities, especially African American communities, by Wells Fargo? What was your experience in the question of who you were told to try to target for loans?

ELIZABETH JACOBSON: A lot of this was information that I would receive on conference calls as a sales manager. And people on the call, the management there, would encourage the loan officers, the subprime loan officers, to go into Baltimore city and target the churches, the African American churches, to get a relationship going with the minister or the reverend at the church and try to get that person to schedule some sort of meeting. They would call it a “wealth-building seminar” to get the parishioners of the church to attend. And any loan that was funded by Wells Fargo, whether a purchase or a refinance, $350 would then be donated to the church. And so, that was the incentive for the church to want to have these seminars there.

But what would happen is the only loan officers that would attend these seminars were generally the subprime loan officers. And on these conference calls, at one point, somebody made a joke who happened to be a white loan officer and said, “Well, will I be able to go to these seminars?” And they were told right there on the conference call, unless you were of color, you could not attend these conferences, these wealth-building conferences. So it seemed me—Wells Fargo didn’t come right out and say this; this is just what I saw—is that they wanted the African American Wells Fargo loan officers to sell loans to the African American community.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And you’re saying that the churches were getting, in essence, a finder’s fee for $350 for every one of their church members who ended up getting a loan?

ELIZABETH JACOBSON: Correct. Wells Fargo did this under a program where they would donate for any homeowner $350 to the nonprofit of their choice. So I don’t want to—for this to imply that it was only the churches. So, anybody that got a loan at Wells Fargo could ask that the $350 be donated to any nonprofit. But the way that it was sold to these churches was, well, that money then will go back to your church. Have the parishioner decide, as the church is a nonprofit, that they want that $350 to go right back to that church.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to a clip from a new documentary about the subprime crisis that opens in New York next week. It’s called American Casino. It’s directed by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn. This clip shows the Baltimore-based Reverend Almalene “Emily” Wade, who lost her home.

REV. ALMALENE “EMILY” WADE: I’m homeless. And it’s just hard. It’s a struggle. It’s devastating. It’s upsetting. It’s unbelievable. But it’s real. I don’t have a home anymore, and I’ll never forget this as long as I live.

This is a house that I grew up in most of my life. I came here in 1961 with my mother and my father. I’ve been here a lifetime. And I went to school here. I went to junior high school, went to high school, went to college. And we used to have a church next door, and the neighborhood was just home. This was just home.

I wanted to do a assisted living here. I wanted to help people. And the property wasn’t in the proper condition that it needed to be, so I was advised to take the equity out of the property, some of the equity, and do a loan and start my project that way.

The loan was for $28,000. It’s really sad that all of this was lost over $28,000. The monthly payments was close to like $300 a month, but I was on a fixed income, and it was just—it just got to be too much. Wells Fargo was the mortgage servicer, and that’s who serviced my loan and who I got the loan through. I really, at that particular time, didn’t know all the ins and out of a mortgage loan. I just took it by faith that I was going to be OK.

Settlement was really fast. You just don’t know. You know, you’re trusting your mortgage broker. You’re trusting the settlement people. You’re trusting the bank. And what else can you do? You really don’t have a clue. You’re just happy to have someone say, “Yes, we will finance you. Yes, you are approved. Yes, you can go to settlement.”

AMY GOODMAN: That’s an excerpt of American Casino, the story of the people who are foreclosed on.

Finally, Elizabeth, you talk about the joke in the office being that selling these, pushing these subprime loans as being “riding the stagecoach to hell.” Well, now you’re off that stagecoach, and you’re doing foreclosure defense?

ELIZABETH JACOBSON: Correct. I’m working with several attorneys in the state of Maryland. And most of these people that we’re seeing come in were put into predatory loans, and these loans were sold as mortgage-backed securities. Most people have no idea who actually owns their loan. Wells Fargo could service it, Chase could service it, Bank of America could service the loan, and people tend to think that that’s who owns their loan. So they get the foreclosure filing, and what we do is ask them to produce the note to prove that they actually own the loan, because there’s—most cases, there is no chain of custody of the note. And in Maryland, there’s no requirement to produce the original note.

So we’re trying to put up that defense. We’re trying to get the word out there. Very few people realize they could possibly have a defense. And there’s some defenses out there that are just rather technical. The plaintiff that’s filing the foreclosure doesn’t follow the law. They’ll put one entity down on the notice of intent to foreclose as a secured party. Then, when they file the order to docket, which is the instrument that’s filed in the circuit court, it will list a totally different company.

And what happens is, unless the homeowner puts up some sort of defense, these are all rubber-stamped. Maryland is a non-judicial state. It just goes through the system. So these plaintiffs’ attorneys can basically put whatever they want in these documents, and the judge isn’t going to look at it, unless the homeowner says, “Wait a minute, let’s put up some sort of defense.”

And I’m also finding, in helping people doing these defenses, and actually through loan modifications, part of HAMP is that you are to stop all foreclosure proceedings, including, of course, the sale of the house, if a homeowner has applied for HAMP. They don’t even have to be approved for HAMP. Just the application for HAMP. And that’s not known out there. So there’s a lot of benefits, obviously, going with the HAMP program, but the lenders will still move forward with a foreclosure, even if you’ve applied under HAMP, which is prohibited.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to leave it there. Elizabeth Jacobson, thank you very much for joining us and for coming out.


AMY GOODMAN: As being a top loan officer, subprime loan officer, at Wells Fargo. In June of this year, she submitted an affidavit in support of a federal lawsuit in the city of Baltimore against Wells Fargo. She now works in foreclosure defense.

WILLIAM wrote:
Wells Fargo has shitty customer service, they are incompetent, ignorant and are obviously trained that way because their supervisors are the same way. Their security is unbelievable ridiculous and overwhelmingly difficult to identify yourself even if you are the true primary account holder.

they force us to be that way! think those shock collars are comfortable? No way. Here's how to get back at doesn't do much good, but it may give you some satisfaction. each call that goes through to a rep costs them around $ keep calling, and keep the rep on the phone. If you can't get a fee reversed, ALWAYS ask to speak to a supervisor. Request a Bank-By-Mail kit. it costs them a lot and it's free to you. ALWAYS ask to have credit cards or debit cards "rushed" have to provide extra ID, but it costs WF about $35 dollars to process, so go for it. And don't be too harsh on the employees, most of them didn't start out as morons...
Wells fargo financial is even worse. never open an account with them or let them even take an application.

they are whats wrong with this country. i'll take a politician and a lawyer any day!

I ABSOLUTELY HATE WELLS FARGO. ALL of their customer service reps are rude and incompetent. I finally had enough and shut down my account with them. They hold your deposited checks for a long time so that they can bounce your checks and charge you outrageous fees. Every single customer service rep I ever spoke to was very rude and did not know what they were talking and I am always being constantly transferred to another wrong department.

I closed my account with them and I am never going back. When I went in to close my account and the bank rep tried to talk me into keeping and asked me if there was a problem. I just smiled and said nope, just close my account so I can be on my way. I will not waste another minute or another breath dealing with this incompetent bank and their incompetent staff.
OK - I'm DONE with Wells fargo... This was the last straw. Two weeks ago I tried to DEPOSIT a large check from Charter One Bank ($25,000)- and was told it would take (get this) 6 to 8 weeks to clear!? And I have an account with WF. I was actually told "in this economic environment...that's now our policy." Went to my husband's credit union the next day and it took 5 DAYS to clear! And they gave me a ton of attitude when I guestioned the 6 to 8 week hold. THEY HATE THEIR CUSTOMERS. JOINN A CREDIT UNION - they are so much better!

I completely agree with William. I have posted these comments a few other places, but they sum up why I hate Wells Fargo:

I recently used Wells Fargo Jewelry Advantage to purchase an engagement ring. So far, it has been the worst experience of my life financing anything. Their statements are misleading (the pay stub and due date are in the back of a booklet of information they send you), their online payment system is difficult to use and does not show you any pending payments or even an account balance, and their customer service on the phone is absolutely the worst I have ever experienced.

They called after I had tried to post a payment and told me that it did not go through and that I needed to pay over the phone immediately. I refused to pay over the phone, and after being assured my first payment had not gone through, paid online. Now both payments have posted, and they refuse to put the second payment back into my bank account that they had withdrawn it from.

They never once apologized and told me it was my fault for posting the payment twice (even though they told me the first one had not gone through). They acknowledged that their collections department had talked to me, and that I had expressed concern that the payment would post twice, but the person I talked to conveniently didn't record the part when she told me that the first payment would not go through and that I needed to try again. So suddenly its my fault and there isn't anything they can do.

I am incredibly frustrated and had to remove money from investments to be able to cover the second payment until I can get my bank involved (at the suggestion of the unfriendly women at Wells Fargo) to beg Wells Fargo to reimburse me for double payment.

Wells Fargo history> 1800's; based on gold rush era! Henry Wells & Livington, & Company.Current> Director "Richard M "Dick" Kovacevich=another midas!Remember midas story,greed! turned all into gold> downfall>regrets.bad investments!housing meltdown! blame?> their 'financial game/gain', world network; real question>,are we 'slaves'? who's controlling who? 1. banks & investors[worldwide], or 2. Govt. & govt. interst[worldwide]?...and we the people.., get...***!!!
I think it is a good time to purchase WFC stock. At $15+ per share, it's a real bargain. Of all the US banks, it is the best managed and in the best shape. The stock is down because investors have lost confidence in the banking industry. I have too, except I believe WFC will come back strong and prove to be a good investment.

Wells Fargo has shitty customer service, they are incompetent, ignorant and are obviously trained that way because their supervisors are the same way. Their security is unbelievable ridiculous and overwhelmingly difficult to identify yourself even if you are the true primary account holder.

If you have any life change that causes you to go 15 days past due hold on to your hat. They will tear your head off. Be so rude and make you feel like you are the scum of the earth. I have never been late on a payment and have been with them for 10 years also. Life happend and my wife got laid off. Now with all of the fees they have they managed to make my account go negitive (it would not have with out the fee)Now it is snowballing on me and we just don't have extra money right now. Will they work with us NOPE. They want to banter back and forth. We have told them honestly when a payment will be there and they insist on calling us daily, calling work, and next it will be neighbors. You can't pay them what you don't have and I have excellent credit score 775 and have proven that I pay bills. They don't care and are beyond rude! Never due business with them.

Donna Rodgers wrote:
I have been a customer with Wells Fargo for 10 years and they have always been gracious, helpful and polite. They have given me credits for bounced checks which were as much my fault as someone elses. If it was their fault, they cleared it up immediately. My son worked for Wells Fargo and really appreciated the people there. He made friends with everyone. I'm sorry that you all have had a bad experience, but we have not. My husband's company (a small business) has been doing business with them for ten years too. All of us--the five long term employees and the company are happy with their service.
Just thought readers might want to know.
PS. We make 50,000.00 per year and have our 120,000.00 house loan with them. No problems at all.

It cost banks money to roll coins and strap cash. If you buy enough cash/coin from any bank they are going to charge you to pass on the labor cost. Think about it, someone has to roll the coin, some underpaid security guard has to bring it to the bank, some poor teller has to deal with you, and you expect the bank to pick up the tab because you have a measley $4000 in your free checking account. You don't want to pay for coin or cash? put enough money in your account to offset the cost. Banks aren't soup kitchens, they aren't the post office. It costs $22 to get a box of quarters to my branch. Someone's got to pay that cost, why not the people that actually use the quarters. They are the ones that are using it.

michael wrote:
Immediately after Wells Fargo bought out MFC bank, they tried to charge for the paper rolls of coins, all the businesses were very very pissed and they lost about $8 million in business deposits, which was why Wells Fargo did it to get rid of more expensive accounts to service.
Several businesses myself included filed complaints against Wells Fargo trying to charge more for US currency than the face value, and Wells Fargo backed down.
But they did try it.

I hate Wells Fargo Auto Finance. What a backwards, ensiloed, incompetent, unfriendly,inefficent organization. How many, many, many, many, many hours I have wasted on the phone with them JUST TO SIGN UP FOR AUTOPAY is unbelievable. They have NEVER gotten it to work for me in the past 4 years. No two people tell you the same thing. You finally get online payment to work, because autopay won't, then they shut down the online payment one month later. Losers.

one of my workers brothers deposited $400 in Wells Fargo in Marquette Michigan, he then went to Wells Fargo in Houghton Michigan to get some money.

Well Fargo said THEY WERE NOT THE SAME WELLS FARGO as was the Marquette Michigan bank. And he would have to wait 7 days for funds to be transferred from Marquette Wells Fargo to Houghton Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo has STOLEN BILLIONS from the Taxpayers to cover their CORRUPT asses. They should be broken up into small locally owned banks, etc.. so that they are not TOO BIG TO FAIL.

I think this requires a complaint to the comptroller of the currency.

Wells Fargo is a nationwide bank, any deposit made in any Wells Fargo branch is available to every branch.

the last time i checked real people keeped check books to know how much money you had in their account i am sure if your wife would have done that she would see she did not have enough money to take out of the atm or even use her card to take out money so stop blaming wf for your wifes mistake everyone that is in business is out to make money if you or any other business out there knows that fees you would still have if it would have been another bank and not wf if she had done the same thing there hello.

BRYAN wrote:
I hate wells fargo becuase they charged my wife 35.00 each time she used her atm over a couple of days. the atm even gave written proof of money in the account but WF said this is not in real time. So using the bank for your balance is a lie. I personally have hated WF for years. What really upsets me is not being able to protect my wife. she used her card for a .70 iten and was charged 35.00. I have a home loan and a car loan with WF any buyers, HA HA. but I will be looking for a new lender.

Evelyn wrote:

Evelyn..... are you serious, do you think we are ALL stupid ? You either work for WF or you belong to another planet. Either way, have fun, dear ! Write us back when you'll visit us again !

James wrote:
I think it is a good time to purchase WFC stock. At $15+ per share, it's a real bargain. Of all the US banks, it is the best managed and in the best shape. The stock is down because investors have lost confidence in the banking industry. I have too, except I believe WFC will come back strong and prove to be a good investment.

Hey, James, on what planet is this Wells Fargo stock that you're talking about ? Can you tell me how to get there, fast ?
I must write in on this topic. I recently went through a period of unemployment - 18 months of it. This was from a job of $90k to no income. During that time, I pretty much emptied my 401K to pay my mortgage. I was NEVER 30 days late - I was a few days late a couple of times and was charged the obligatory $150 late fee. Once I started working again - out of state - away from my family - but working, I called WF and asked if they could assist me. We have a $450k loan with them - never late mind you - I had a credit card that I had quit paying on because I couldn't while unemployed. I asked WF if they could set up a LOC so that I could consolidate my debt and recover from the 18 months of no work. They led me along for a month and set up an appt. The day before my appt the girl called to say that my credit score was too low (that one credit card apparently made it too low) for them to help. I asked her how I was supposed to dig out of this hole - I'm not asking for MORE debt - just cheaper debt. She said to me "well - that's not my problem. It's above my pay grade! Have a nice day." Oh my gosh! I was unemployed! I wasn't in jail! Because I made a couple of payments past the 16th of the month (3 to be exact) I now get a phone call from WF daily to 2 different phone numbers to remind me to pay my bill starting on the 3rd of the month until it's paid. I have never paid before the 10th just based on paydays. The rude agent told me "it's already late. You're just lucky." Today I found out that a check from July didn't clear (due to the credit card company taking out 2 payments instead of one!). Did WF call me? Nope. Let it go. I made my August payment. Guy at the branch says thank you - you're all up to date. Today I find out that July's payment still isn't cleared and they put it out on the credit report. I never believed the horror stories from people until now. Until I was unemployed my credit was SPOTLESS. Now I'm treated like the lowest of lows. As soon as possible, that loan is out of WF. Even the credit card company has been nicer. I finally called them out of desparation - told her my situation. They reset the interest rate to 8% and automatically take out the payments (okay - there were some technical issues in July that pretty much killed me) but at least they're polite and willing to work with me!

The people in my branch are nice. But they have their hands tied. They have no way of even knowing your account has a problem. They apologized a bunch when they found out what happened. Too bad they can't put back the fees. Take back the hit on my credit report.


Getting a home mortgage through WF was absolutely the WORST experience of our lives. I have had childbirth that was less painful!! We closed nearly a month ago and are STILL finding little details that were not disclosed or things that our "consultant" lied to us about. We were also guaranteed to close on time...well, after 4 closing dates went by, you'd think we'd qualify. NOT so much. They cleverly put that guarantee out there, knowing they cannot honor it on FHA loans. I am telling every single person who will listen that they're FAR better off to steer clear of this conglomeration of assholes, especially the WFHM office in Bedford, NH.

Wells fargo has gone down since joining with wachovia.They wanted to hold my husbands check for over 10 days because we overdawn.This bank is now putting large items thur first so that you end up with alot of fee.

About 10 years ago we opened an account for our son while at college. He was very responsible with the account, because of a mistake that was not his fault, we ended up having quite a bit of charges. This actually happened several times during a two year period. As stated before EVERY single rep I spoke with had the crappiest attitude! Most would NOT transfer to a supervisor, but rather cut you off before you are finished and each time you call you have to wait close to 10 minutes. BTW, I was VERY nice each time talking to them.I finally closed that account and vowed to NEVER use wells fargo again.

2 years ago I bought a metal building which was financed by .... wells fargo!! AGAIN, i have had so so so much trouble with these people. I HATE THEM!! No matter what, a person can at LEAST act decent. NOT THESE PEOPLE. They don't know the meaning of nice.

AND i completely agree with the post about their website. This is nearly 2010, their site looks like the 80's. You can't even tell your balance, your amount owed OR your due date. Totally Ridiculous. I can't wait to get these monkeys off my back!!