Wikileaks to Target Bank of America?

(This article was updated on Jan. 31, 2011)

Well, it’s the new year, and we’ve already got another story of a major bank being caught with its pants down…potentially.  According to Reuters, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

previously said he had intended to “take down” a major U.S. bank and reveal an “ecosystem of corruption” from data from an executive’s computer.

In response, BofA has assembled a team of as many as 20 officials, including the bank’s “risk officer” Bruce Thompson.  While the team has been reviewing thousands of documents, BofA has also hired a consulting firm (public relations damage control?) and consulted with several top law firms.  The original story by The New York Times also said

“Bank of America has been reviewing cases in which any computers were lost and was looking for signs that its systems might have been compromised.”

Interestingly, Wikileaks never named Bank of America as the object of its potential document release.  But apparently, BofA has something to hide.  Otherwise, why would they be scrambling to review so many documents?  Of course, none of this should come as a surprise, as Bank of America was at the center of the robo-signing foreclosure debacle, and is the proud owner of scandal-ridden Countrywide.

What interests me is the potential fallout in terms of short sale and foreclosure processing.  Who knows what juicy morsels Wikileaks has obtained, but what else could Bank of America really have done that would surprise us?  Regardless, this story is one to pay attention to, as the ramifications for pre-foreclosure properties could be huge!

The remaining portion of this article was written on Jan. 31, 2011:

For those of you who missed Julian Assange on CBS’ 60 Minutes last night, Assange is quoted in the interview saying:

I think it’s great to have all these banks squirming thinking maybe it’s them.

Here is a video clip where Assange discusses the “rumor” that he may have a hard drive from a major US bank.

Assange says the upcoming bank document “megaleak” may lead to the failure of 1 or 2 major financial institutions.  According to the Forbes interview with Assange from back in November, the leak

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

This will be like that. Yes, there will be some flagrant violations, unethical practices that will be revealed, but it will also be all the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos that comes out, and that’s tremendously valuable…

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

Wow!  Imagine the possibilities…and what the resulting fall-out could mean to the current foreclosure robo-signing mess, short sale approvals, and lawsuits challenging foreclosures?  My friends, implications could be huge!

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