The Insult of a $2.40 Settlement Check from Wall Street

In the aftermath of the Wall Street meltdown of 2008, where so many people lost so much money due to the greed and dishonesty of the people who run Wall Street, many companies were sued in what are known as Class Action Suits, … one suit on behalf of the millions of people who were victimized in some way.

These suits are taken by law firms who get a large percentage of the settlement while the victims literally get pennies on the dollar to make up for their losses, adding only insult to injury.

Today after having a pretty good day, I got home, and checked my mail as I usually do. Inside it was an envelope identifying it as coming from SEC v. Bank of America Corp. Fair Fund. Underneath that it said ” Distribution Agent”. But the word “Fair” is the operative word here.

I read a letter that said I had owned 297 shares of Bank of America Corp. and as a settlement for my losses, which amounted to more than I want to think about, I was being reimbursed the grand total of $2.40. That is 0.008 cents per share. When I first saw the letter, I thought it had said I was receiving a check for $297. dollars. That would have been little enough. But $2.40? It must have cost more than that to send out the letter and statement!

What a joke, except it’s not even close to being funny. I expected to see an “LOL” after the amount. Wasn’t the person who wrote out that check embarrassed? How do you write out a check to someone reimbursing them for their losses and have the nerve to write two dollars and forty cents?

You wouldn’t even give that to someone as a tip. If someone helped you carry your heavy packages upstairs to your house, and you only gave them $2.40, I think you would be embarrassed. I can only imagine how much money the lawyers charged for this wonderful settlement of 0.0008 cents per share. Why even bother? I’ll tell you why, because you can be sure that made millions!

Not being a lawyer, my interpretation is strictly that of a layman. In most of these cases the defendant company never admits wrongdoing. They just eventually settle, with one of the contingencies seeming to be that they do not have to admit having done anything wrong. They just settle because they want to settle and have it over with.

I’m a firm believer in capitalism. I’m not one of those “Occupy Wall Street” people, who wants to tear it down, but I certainly understand their frustration. I stopped hoping for a Wall Street windfall a long time ago. To me the market is phony b.s.

It’s a big phony mess and the only people who make money are the traders. They don’t care if the market goes up or down. They make money either way. And then when the times comes to analyze the quarter and tell you how you did, instead of telling you how much money you made, they try and explain your current status in terms of percentages.

In other words, chances are you have less money at the end of the quarter than you did at the beginning, and on the surface even though it looks like you lost a lot of money, they try and spin it to show you how you didn’t do as badly as most of the other investment companies out there, as if that’s supposed to make you feel better. And they love doing it in percentages!

Whenever I’m in a conversation like that, all I keep asking is ” How much money do I have in my accounts?” I don’t care about the rest of the story and your percentages. Percentages mean nothing to me. Less than nothing.

I can’t spend percentages. I can only spend dollars. I want to know how many dollars I have now as compared to how many dollars I had before.

They hate that. They can’t answer you that way, with the truth, because all they could say then is that they’re sorry. They tried.

One day the market is up 200 points, the next day it’s down 400 points. It’s like gambling. Like going to Las Vegas, except on Wall STreet you’re gambling involuntarily with money you can’t afford to lose.

The market is driven by fear. Listen to any news broadcast. Every day they explain shifts in the market as being caused by “fears” of investors. Who are these investors who are so afraid of every single thing?

Every bit of news that comes across their computers puts them into a state of fear, where all they can think about is selling their stock so the market goes down, and so they can share their fear with others. Fears of inflation, fears of deflation, fears of trouble in The Middle East, fears of trouble in Europe, fears of unemployment, and if I hear the term “Fiscal Cliff” one more time, I may become ill!

What a disgusting term to keep repeating over, and over, and over again on every radio and TV station in America. Fiscal Cliff. That’s where these phony Wall Street guys belong. At the edge of a fiscal cliff. They pay themselves multi-million dollar bonuses for cheating people out of their life savings.

And short-selling is something I will never understand. How it is allowed that anyone can actually make money betting that the market will go down, by selling stock they don’t even own, is only a vehicle for unscrupulous people to make the market go down. I’m not sophisticated enough to know how they do that, but it’s obvious that they do, because every so often someone gets busted for manipulating the market in that way.

If the market goes down, NO ONE should be able to make money off of that. I think that would probably keep the market going up. And I’m sure they have their self-serving reasons to explain why short-selling is necessary, but once again it’s just another lie. It’s just another reason, or opportunity for them to make money at someone else’s expense.

So I’m not sure whether I’m going to cash this $2.40 check or not, or maybe I’ll just add it to another check I once got for 99 cents on another settlement, and go out and buy a candy bar, but when I saw it I just felt so disgusted with the people who have the nerve to send out checks for $2.40 and consider themselves having done a service, I felt I had to write about it.

I don’t know how these people sleep at night. And I don’t know who I despise more, the corporate people who cause the Wall Street downfall in the first place, or the scavenger lawyers who are supposedly representing the victims while lining their own pockets with the majority of the settlements. You can bet not one of these lawyers ever accepted a settlement for two dollars and forty cents!

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