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Stagecoach Robbers – Ben Garrison Cartoon

Wells Fargo was ordered by the U.S. Justice Department and the SEC to pay a $3 billion fine after a four-year investigation.

The big banker with a storied, western history was robbing its customers by raking in millions of dollars in bogus fees as well as interest. It also unlawfully utilized personal information in addition to creating fake accounts and falsifying records.

Why would a major bank such as Wells Fargo engage in such risky and fraudulent behavior? Greed, of course. They knew if they got caught they would pay a fine and then push the envelope again. Remember Wachovia’s drug laundering scandal? Yep, they were laundering Mexican drug money in the billions and only paid a $160 million fine. Then they were acquired by—you guessed it—Wells Fargo. Other banks have engaged in fraud as well. Remember the highly-rated real estate derivative packages pushed by the big bankers? Their scheme collapsed, resulting in the big banker bailout of 2008. They also made sure they received handsome bonus packages as well, thanks to the chumps known as US taxpayers.

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Of course, the main sources of this corruption can be found in the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking. America is swimming in debt as a result. The national debt is now well over $23 trillion. A trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon it adds up to real money.

Americans are holding record credit card debt. It’s known as ‘unsecured’ because nearly anyone with any sort of credit can get a card and too many are forced to pay outrageous interest payments. The banks create such credit out of thin air. If Americans default, the banks get a nice tax deduction on money they created from nothing. Then they sell it to debt collectors who harass the unfortunates who can’t pay.

The Fed creates money out of nothing as well and we taxpayers must work to pay interest on that debt. We are becoming debt slaves. The Fed also pumps flip of a switch money into their stock market bubble. An ever-rising market is supposed to be the sign of a healthy economy. Nope. It’s just another sign of greed. Wells Fargo is not alone. Everyone wants easy money and they will push boundaries to get it, but it comes at a price—a loss of morality and eventually a loss of liberty.

—Ben Garrison

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