Hi, I'm Brian Penny.
For my New Year's resolution, I want to understand the banks. I have a scientific curiosity about how these banks work. The only way I can think of to truly understand the banks is to dissect one of them. I want to capture a bank (preferably Bank of America), and I want to dip it in formaldehyde to preserve as much of it as possible. I want to pin the bank to a wax setting, slice it open, and explore what makes it tick. I want the entire world to learn how the banks rose to power.
Why do we let the banks control us?
Consider this: Money doesn't exist in nature. Currency is an imaginary number, and Economics is a complicated math based entirely on these imaginary numbers. This is why the fiscal cliff is so ridiculous to the majority of the population. It's an imaginary cliff in a small complicated corner of this global economy we all imagined. Wall Street is essentially Imaginationland. Money and power are man-made constructs in which we collectively agree on the value. We assign power to money. We allow ourselves be enslaved by the imaginations of banksters in suits who can only imagine more profits. Why do we do this to ourselves?
I constantly hear in the news that the banks are too big to fail. Punishing them could destroy the economy. I don't recall the telecommunications or energy industries shutting down and creating Armageddon when Worldcom and Enron collapsed. We can't ever know if a bank is truly too big to fail unless we topple it. The Roman Empire was too big to fail once. So was the Mongolian Empire. The collapse of these power structures didn't end the human race. How will we ever know if we don't try?
The question is how do we pin Bank of America to the tray?
My solution has been to spend the last two years training regulators and attorneys on every back-end system I utilized during my career with the bank. Rather than blowing the whistle on the specific bad deed I leaked to the media, I focused on ensuring regulators, forensic accountants, and other qualified individuals have a map of the bank's insides. I wanted them to see as much of my view as possible. Because of this, they have the ability to prove not only my claims, but the claims of the millions of American homeowners who suffered from the bank's misdealings. It doesn't stop there though.
Once we, the American people, convince our government to apply real pressure to a "too big to fail" bank, the employees will be threatened with losing their job. They'll know it's because the company was doing something illegal, and many of them will cover their asses. Faced with an uncertain future, these employees are likely to come to the press with their stories and preserve documentation of the bad business dealings they encountered. Some people may lose their jobs, but someone has to handle the bank's assets, so the many smaller regional banks that take on this extra work will need to hire more employees. It'll be scary for these employees, but no scarier than what these employees did to everyone who lost their home or went broke.
These banks call themselves "too big to fail," but I see them as "too old to succeed." By sacrificing one bank, we can arm ourselves with the knowledge we need to ensure our legacy on the future.
Brian Penny is a former business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower who spent the last 2 years helping regulators and attorneys uncover the largest bank and insurance fraud in history. He documents his experiences working with Anonymous and fighting the banks on his blog. He's currently in the Tampa Bay area preparing to live in a van and training to be a yogi under Ally Ford.