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The Almighty Buck News

Anonymous Leaks Internal Bank of America Emails 535

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-see-what-you-did-there dept.
euphemistic writes "Reportedly the information Wikileaks was set to disclose about a particular bank back from December, 'a massive batch of internal Bank of America emails' has been leaked. While the site hosting it seems to currently be down due to the obviously gigantic amount of traffic interested in this leak, the leak is said to pertain to the Bank of America's improper foreclosure on homes. 'The report came from a former employee with Balboa Insurance — a risk management and insurance firm. The employee reportedly corresponded with Bank of America employees and was told to falsify loan numbers on documents to force Bank of America to foreclose on homeowners.'"
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Anonymous Leaks Internal Bank of America Emails

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:34AM (#35478470)

    I guess this explains why Bank of America's law firm [wikipedia.org] was so willing to buy into HBgary [wikipedia.org] and other's bullshit about being able to take down Anoynymous and Wikileaks.

    • by afxgrin (208686) on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:26AM (#35479012)

      And why they bought every single domain name using "Sucks" and "Blows" [motherboard.tv] that involves Bank of America and all their executive management.

  • And... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeDirnt69 (1105185) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:38AM (#35478492) Homepage
    .. nothing will happen.
    • Sadly, indeed : Whenever it is a large corporation doing something illegal they at most get a slap on the wrist and no one goes to jail, but whenever it is a single commoner you get thrown in so fast you'll leave skidmarks on the ground.

      Money == More important than human rights, privacy or even laws themselves.

      • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Joreallean (969424) on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:36AM (#35479192)
        Although the money helps this isn't about money... It's about the fact that these "people" are doing actions of an individual under the name of a corporation. The difference in your example between your corporation vs commoner is that one is an individual. The government can certainly throw the book at a corporation, but what happens? It either gets a bad reputation and loses the market for a while or they just dissolve it and start something new under a new name. There is no personal responsibility for any of the actions of a corporation and therefore there is absolutely no accountability for their actions. As long as we continue to treat a corporation as the "person" responsible for its actions and not the actual people in charge will they be able to do whatever they want with little to no consequences. These people have just learn to shield their own malfeasance under the guise of a legal corporation. I'm by no means saying that all corporations are like this, but at some point it seems they stop caring about the work they are doing and start caring about the state of the company.
        • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by s4m7 (519684) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:04AM (#35479522) Homepage
          "Corporations have neither bodies to be punished, nor souls to be condemned, they therefore do as they like." - Edward Thurlow, often attributed to Andrew Jackson
        • Re:And... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by moj0joj0 (1119977) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:59AM (#35480346)

          There is no personal responsibility for any of the actions of a corporation and therefore there is absolutely no accountability for their actions.

          Corporations may not be individuals, but they are run by a board of directors that is ultimately responsible for the actions of the company. If individual wrongdoers within the corporate 'body' are not handed over to the authorities, then the board would be held responsible. If this were the case, you'd see a lot less evil in the business world. If generals are held responsible for the actions of their troops during wartime, then surely we can hold the leadership of a corporation responsible for the actions of the corporation. Maybe not, but it makes me feel better to think so.

          • by jimicus (737525)

            Oh, the individual wrongdoers will be handed over to the authorities.

            But I guarantee you the people at the top who oversaw the lot won't be among those handed over. The people handed over will be the salesmen and their managers at the bottom end of the organisation. It's entirely possible that top executives communicated something along the lines of "We must do whatever is necessary to achieve our goals" but they won't have said "and if that means breaking the law, so be it". Or at least, not in writing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Stick32 (975497)

          "Corporation n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

      • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DrStrange66 (654036) on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:50AM (#35479342)
        Bank of America is too big to fail and is therefore too big to go after.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Members of the Senate Finance Committee will hem and haw and grandstand.

      BOA will make some lamo PR statements from the spawn of Satan that PR and Marketing people are.

      BOA will then make some "campaign" contributions to the Senators and after a few weeks, the public will have forgotten it all because the powers that be will come up with some distraction issue. A distraction issue is something that really isn't important to this country's well being: going after Muslims (Sen .King), security, non-existent ter

    • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

      Amen. The two words that will characterise this period of history will be "corruption" and "unaccountability". Western management has turned impunity--legal, financial, and personal--into a science.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:01AM (#35479488)

        Your comment about "this period of history" draws attention away from the fact that the U.S. government is EXTREMELY corrupt. Few in government are on the side of the people. Most of the really powerful in the U.S. government are helping the corrupters.

        For example, see the Rolling Stone article about Goldman Sachs, The Great American Bubble Machine [rollingstone.com]

        The documentary movie Inside Job [rottentomatoes.com] was nominated for an Oscar. It's an excellent movie about the extreme corruption. NOTHING has been done.

      • The two words that will characterise this period of history will be "corruption" and "unaccountability".

        As opposed to when? Industrial-era robber barons? Monarchies and imperial charters? The medieval Catholic Church?

        "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." - Winston Churchill

        • Re:And... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:52AM (#35480240)

          The US doesn't have a democracy. It has a plutocracy. These huge financial firms used captured regulators, insiders, and like-minded ideologues to create an environment in which, once again, the rich could further enrich themselves upon the backs of the middle and lower-class. While, as you say, this has always been the case, at least to some degree, the last three decades have seen a massive concentration of wealth and power in a select elite. The recent banking fiasco is simply the pinnacle of that trend, resulting in massive unemployment and loss of homes, pensions, and what little other wealth the non-rich have while the rich continue to get richer and richer, while absorbing none of the consequences of their actions.

          But, I think to future historians, the most baffling thing of all will be how so many of the middle and lower class cheered on deregulation, defended the rich, decried attempts to correct this wealth and power imbalance as "class warfare", thus actively working against their own self-interests.

          • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by mhelander (1307061) on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:36AM (#35480880)

            I've heard it claimed it is because just like we all think we are better than average drivers, everyone in the US think they're one day going to become rich.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Yup, I've heard that, too. In addition, many people have a remarkably inflated view of their wealth, and the overall wealth distribution in the US. Here's an interesting graph on the topic:

              http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/poor-people-are-much-poorer-than-you-think/

              People massively underestimate just how much wealth is concentrated in the top few percent of earners.

              In addition to this, while for the life of me I can't find the original citation, I recall a recent report that indicates that people

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kelemvor4 (1980226)
        I disagree. While I agree with the general theme that the system is hopelessly corrupt, I disagree that this is what will mark this period in history. I largely believe that this level of corruption has existed for almost as long as humans have lived in "civilized" societies. What will mark this period in history is that it is so well documented. Never before has every nuance of humanity been so well documented. In fact, there's so many documented about humanity right now I don't believe it will be pos
    • Re:And... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by heptapod (243146) <heptapod@gmail.com> on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:33AM (#35479144) Journal

      Of course nothing will happen. These leaked Bank of America emails were released during the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis. GREAT FUCKING JOB THERE, CHIEF!!! It shows they're a bunch of amateurs who know nothing about timing so this reaches the broadest audience. Slashdot, reddit, and the rest will get up in arms but the people who need to know, i.e. mom & pop and that mythical linux using grandma, won't have it show up as a blip on their radar because of their reliance upon mainstream media to feed them.

      • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:12AM (#35480514)
        Or it shows that Bank of America PR staffers know exactly how to contain a potential disaster. By releasing their own information as Anonymous during a time where it is guaranteed to be buried under far more pressing news stories.
  • by Mazzie (672533) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:39AM (#35478502)
    and switching to a more reputable corporate behemoth like... hrmm... like... uhhh... doh!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:42AM (#35478522)

      Switch to a local credit union. That is, by far, your best alternative.

      • by Foofoobar (318279) on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:25AM (#35479010)
        yep have to admit when all the mortgage things happened, the credit unions remained unscathed. My wife and I asked our credit union about that and they said they don't report to a board but only report to their members so they are not under alot of pressure to make giant risky investments; they are only their for their members. And while other banks were being taken over left and right, you didn't see hardly any credit unions being taken over.
        • by trollertron3000 (1940942) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:20AM (#35479770)

          You basically nailed why so many corporations are suffering from corruption from within - they are beholden to board members more than their customers. They don't even care about the fundamentals of business anymore. They're too busy inventing new ways to fuck each other.

          • by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:52AM (#35481092) Journal

            At business school I learned something within the first 20 minutes of finance 101. The most important lesson in the class which was repeated on the final was what is a company's goal?

            If you said to make money you are wrong. The goal of a corporation is to raise its stock price, not make money. A third of the course dealt with how to trick investors by creating magical ratios of liquidity (assets that can turn to cash very fast) to make wall street happy and raise the share price. To top it off we studied how going into debt was a great thing as it gave you profit leverage. Holding off paying your suppliers was good too as you can invest the money while you drag your feet.

            The rest of the course dealt with a privately held and small companies. Now their goals was to make money as well as have an excellent credit rating and low debt to make sure adequate lines of credit were available in case of an emergency and to plan ahead conservatively without going bankrupt. 2 different worlds.

            Private companies are the way to go. They simply make rational decisions and play by the rules. The big boys don't and love risk. If the average CEO job is short you can guarantee yourself you wont be held accountable either for short term gains that cost the company later. WOW

            • by Foofoobar (318279)
              Actually that's incorrect on a technicality. That's the goal of a CORPORATION... not a COMPANY. A corporation's goal is to raise it's stock price. A company's goal is to make money.
        • by SwedishPenguin (1035756) on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:21AM (#35480634)

          I've always liked the idea of cooperatively owned businesses, I would like to see it applied to more types of businesses. In Sweden, one of the largest supermarket chains is a consumer coop, they have better quality overall than the privately owned chains in my experience, perhaps because of the lack of pressure to cut costs from investors who only care about the profits. Members pay a one-time member fee and then get refunds on what they buy, between 1 and 5%.

        • yep have to admit when all the mortgage things happened, the credit unions remained unscathed. My wife and I asked our credit union about that and they said they don't report to a board but only report to their members so they are not under alot of pressure to make giant risky investments; they are only their for their members.

          If your local credit union is anything like mine - they were unscathed during the mortgage crisis because they didn't actually hold any mortgages in the first place. They'd either s

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:31AM (#35479118) Homepage

        Also, if credit unions aren't an option for you (which depending on your laws they may not be), at least look for a locally owned bank. They have in general been behaving much better towards their customers and depositors than the big guys.

    • by countertrolling (1585477) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:46AM (#35478568) Journal

      I deposit my money into Sealy Posturepedic...

      • by jd2112 (1535857)
        My Serta fund has been consistently outperforming most of my other investments for the past several years.
    • by dunezone (899268)
      Come on Comrade! Chase me to CHASE!
    • Herro! Dis is Shitty Bank! Do you want to open a shitty bank account?
  • leaked? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:40AM (#35478512)

    Reportedly the information Wikileaks was set to disclose about a particular bank back from December, "a massive batch of internal Bank of America emails" has been leaked.

    Is this saying that Wikileaks' information was leaked by a third party?

    As for bank foreclosure fraud, we've known for a year or more that banks have been doing that. A common case is that all the shady asset-juggling left things in a state that no one knows who actually has the rights to it, so the evictions are rushed through without proper legal scrutiny, or even on the basis of forged documents.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If Wikileaks has something, this isn't it. These docs were directly leaked to ANON.

      BTW, I'm a total luddite but occasionally hang out in Anon's IRC channel, you should too, its not like its hard to sign on.

      And now I'm on the terrorist watchlist and a botnet.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        BTW, I'm a total luddite but occasionally hang out in Anon's IRC channel

        Citizen, please place your hands in the yellow circles and await a law enforcement action. Thank you.

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      If this is all WL had on BoA I can see why they didn't want to reveal it, the hype they built up was worth more to them than what was in the leak.

      Coming soon, find out what color the sky is and what fire is like (and something sinister about water)!

  • Woman dead. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:42AM (#35478526)

    If there is any connection with this to the women being shot and killed a few hours ago at Bank of America, I would had to see that connection not be made.

    Simple Google News search will get you the links.

    And here is a better link than the one posted (provides screenshots and better context of th conversation):
    http://bankofamericasuck.com/03/13/ex-bank-of-ameica-employee-can-prove-mortgage-fraud-part-1

  • by Moof123 (1292134)

    We've seen too many times over in the last decade (or three) that these powerful interests are pretty darn immune. Now and then someone high up either pisses off the rest, or is thrown under the bus and the perception of justice is maintained, thus muting the pitchforks long enough to snub any momentum. Sadly these guys could be found shooting orphaned kids to clear out foreclosed houses and they'd still get away with blaming it on "paperwork" or some such BS.

    So, yeah, great, another treasure trove remind

  • by MikeRT (947531)

    Read the Market Ticker [market-ticker.org]. Seriously. It is probably the most insightful site I've seen on the scope of the fraud being waged against the American public. In particular, note the number of times Bank of America or "Bank of America employees" get referenced in behavior that sounds more like it should be happening in Zimbabwe than the US.

    • Ummm... Sorry... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:49AM (#35480196)

      But I find him no more, and perhaps less, a credible source than the banks. That site is written by Karl Denninger, who is a Tea Partier and Glenn Beck fan. Ok fine, but that does not speak to someone who is very balanced on the issues. That is a hardcore "Gold standard is the ONLY standard," kind of individual and not someone who has a good understanding of the complexities of finance and a balanced view (the phrase "bleeding heart liberals" is a favourite).

      • by metlin (258108) on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:57AM (#35481188) Journal

        I visited his site, and the first entry was on guns, comparing Obama to Hitler, while his site is titled, "Commentary on The Capital Markets". Very relevant and erudite, indeed. And of course, the content and quality of his site went downhill from there.

        Here is the problem, and the irony, of such sites (as I see it).

        Ever since the crash, you've all these "experts" who have a tenuous grasp at best of fundamental finance or economics, and yet who are perfectly comfortable spewing forth rubbish on the topic. It's no different from the dotcom boom -- everyone pretended to know a little something about technology, and was perfectly happy to spew forth rubbish, without really knowing anything substantial at all.

        Just read his junk on the state of the debt [market-ticker.org], and you realize that the man only talks about the market at a broad, superficial level, peppered with hackneyed hockey-mom aphorisms, without ever touching any of the fundamental drivers. Furthermore, I really wish somebody would give this guy a crash course in fundamental statistics on cross-correlation and causation.

        The problem is that armed with half-baked knowledge and strong opinions, these guys are perfectly happy telling the world what's wrong, but offering nothing more than platitudes in fixing the problems without collapsing the economic structure we've built thus far.

        Heck, what are the guy's qualifications? He has a Wikipedia entry that states that he is a "stock trader" and a CEO, but how much capital did he trade in? Unless it's hundreds of millions or more, he knows nothing about "capital markets" -- he is just a small fish in the pond. And what was he the "CEO" of? What are his educational qualifications?

        The irony of such guys pushing forth their opinions is pretty much the same as creationists pushing their "agenda" to stop teaching evolution.

        If you must, read someone like Nassim Nicholas Taleb [wikipedia.org] -- his books The Black Swan [wikipedia.org] or Fooled by Randomness [wikipedia.org] offer a lot more on why we fucked up, than some crazy right wing rhetoric by a chipmunk with half-a-brain (no insults to any chipmunks, of course -- they are perfectly adorable creatures).

  • Russia? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:56AM (#35478658) Journal
    Wikileaks is sitting on all sorts of good stuff about Russia. Why does Assange not release that?
    • Re:Russia? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by advocate_one (662832) on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:00AM (#35478710)

      Wikileaks is sitting on all sorts of good stuff about Russia. Why does Assange not release that?

      The gangsters in charge of Russia really do have no scruples when it comes to eliminating inconvenient people...

    • Re:Russia? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Duradin (1261418) on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:03AM (#35478752)

      I would guess Russia has many ways of making it worthwhile to not release it. Probably very elemental ways, Au or Po.

    • by pla (258480)
      Wikileaks is sitting on all sorts of good stuff about Russia. Why does Assange not release that?

      Because the mob (and by extension, the Russian "government") doesn't even pretend to "prosecute" you, they just pull you into an unmarked white van, torture you, and dump your corpse in a ditch.
    • by richlv (778496)

      any sources for "Wikileaks is sitting on all sorts of good stuff about Russia." ?

  • by RichMan (8097) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:58AM (#35478688)

    The governement administration was pretty quick to hand them money to keep going and the oversight seems to be uninterested in putting people in jail.
    If you pickpocket a $100 store item expect to go to jail. If you force thousands into bankruptcy and put several nations into financial stress you will have no problem collecting your yearly bonus pay.

    It seems to me we need a crack down on white collar crime.

    Stop jailing people for grams of pot and start jailing people for ((( some smart saying I can't think of that means investment people who steal money))).

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      " ((( some smart saying I can't think of that means investment people who steal money)))."

      Fraud?

  • That there will be a bit of noise from the rabble about this but after a week, this will be gone and nothing would be done about it.

    Such is the way the system works, throw enough money at something and it will go away.

  • I'm just waiting for the "Damage Control Fee" to show up on my next month's statement. Then I'll have to pay an "Account Closure Fee" as well as a "Don't Let Your Ass Hit The Door On The Way Out Fee".
  • by plopez (54068) on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:36AM (#35479190) Journal

    The corruption in the "market" economy (which it isn't) is making me turn more and more to the grey market economy. Bartering and selling goods and services for other needed goods and services with out using conventional financial channels, e.g. bank accounts and credit cards. Cut out the middle man and get off of the grid.Kkeep your "seed money" under the mattress. The mattress is a much safer place than putting into the hands of those thieves.

    I also have run into some small businesses which are refusing to accept credit cards now. The theives at the CC companies not only charge obscene amounts of interest but also charge obscene fees to the merchants for each sale. By cutting out the banks the small businesses actually gain an edge over larger businesses by keeping costs low.

    For the Revolution!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:44AM (#35479286)

    As someone who has worked for a big bank, I can assure you that while there are pockets of AMAZINGLY retarded people that commit blatant fraud, it is mostly just a large group of MOSTLY retarded people committing fraud and not really recognizing that's what they're doing.

    I worked hand in hand with the foreclosure group and I think I can summarize what's really been happening:

    1) Overwhelming Workload + Incompetent Staff = Mistakes
    a) Leads to massive spike in hiring through temporary agencies and the introduction of a much larger group of incompetent people into the process.
    2) Convoluted, counterproductive processes + people who can't use excel spreadsheets = Mistakes
    a) See 1a
    3) Incentive Structure - This one's a bit harder but most banks use production based incentive structures to pay employees beyond their base pay. The more work you do, the more money you make. If it's easier to get rid of a "file" (troubled loan) by tossing it to the foreclosure group and having it roll through that process than it is to help someone save their house, guess what happens. If it takes you an hour to successfully help someone (which it doesn't, it takes days or weeks) or 10 minutes to move their file to foreclosure and therefore out of your stack, and you get paid based on how many files you move out of your stack, guess where all your files go.
    4) Banks DONT LIKE TO RESCIND SALES. It costs them money.

    To me, this is all SUPER old news. I watched this happen in real time for years and the news was always WAY behind on what was happening and WHY. It's not as simple as "banks are greedy and committing fraud/crime." That's certainly a part of it, but not nearly half of it. Realistically it's "There's too much work to do and the people doing it truly don't understand what they're doing"

    It's way easier to recognize what's really happening when you look at how things are done at the bottom. Listening to CEOs and PR reps is a waste of time, they have no idea what's really going on underneath them.

    The problems we have always faced are the result of incompetence, period. More to the point the problem is people.

    • Listening to CEOs and PR reps is a waste of time, they have no idea what's really going on underneath them.

      The top men know exactly what's going on. They have set up the system to be filled with incompetence and overwork because that enables them to get away with defrauding billions from millions.

      The system is broken by design.

  • Tinfoil hat time... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:56AM (#35479422)

    I can't help but wonder who's really behind this leak. It smells a LOT like a false flag operation.

    Bank of America has known for months that they're the next major Wikileaks target. Now all of a sudden the material pops up "from Anonymous", in the middle of the Japan earthquake, a HUGE news story - and over the weekend. I tried viewing the site all morning and have been getting 503 errors. If you wanted to bury an inevitable major embarrassment to your company, I think this is how you do it. Wikileaks, for all their faults, would never release this while there were so many other major developing stories.

  • by Rasperin (1034758) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:44AM (#35480136)
    Stop this protesting wherever you stand and start protesting in front of the houses of senators and CEO's. You want to put the fear of God into someone, protest right at there gate. Maybe even stir up a little violence. Honestly, if you aren't willing to go to jail for your believes, your words will never go anywhere...
  • by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:58AM (#35480324) Homepage

    We knew all about this last year. It was on the front page of every paper and the lead story on the TV news. Unless the emails in question were written after October 2010, is there anything new?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39575033/ns/business-real_estate/ [msn.com]

  • Billionairs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:22AM (#35480650)

    I thought it sort of interesting that if you look at the list of Billionaires:

    http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires#p_1_s_arank_-1__-1 [forbes.com]

    and look at where they got their money from.

    If you look at the USA, and ignore all the Walmart jerks, and software bubbles, a disproportionate amount got their money from "Hedge Funds". Now look around the world, how many others can you find? I think I found one.

    These are the same Hedge Funds that bought up (and demanded, and got) all the US real estate debt, causing the whole economic problem. I wonder how many of those guys are hurting? Oh wait, none because they are all billionaires. Also if you look at the names... its the exact same people that came up with the bail out plan etc... talk about conflict of interest and self serving SOB's.

  • BoA and Taxes (Score:3, Informative)

    by braindrainbahrain (874202) on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:28AM (#35480764)
    Bank of America...? Where have I heard that before...? Oh, yeah! They're the one that paid ZERO taxes last year!

    I don't know what's in those leaked e-mails, but this item is just as big - and scandalous,

    "GE isn't the only "Top 5" company on this year's Fortune 500 list that owed no income taxes. Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), which suffered major losses in 2009, included a tax benefit of $1.9 billion in its annual profit."

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/04/16/news/companies/ge_7000_tax_returns/ [cnn.com]

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