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But what does “BofA” mean in the message? Is it “BofA as lender who holds the mortgages on its books” or is it “BofA as servicer, who profits handsomely from foreclosures?” Remember, the rationale for buying Countrywide was to get hold of its servicing operation. And there has a good deal of evidence that regulators are tolerating some lax valuations on mortgages. Moreover, more aggressive liquidations might be seen, at least initially, as a plus by investors. Recall when banks first started taking subprime-related writedowns, the assumption was they were putting the losses behind them. And ironically, it seemed that with each quarter, the writeoffs kept getting bigger, yet the party line each time was, “Ah yes, they have really cleaned house, now haven’t they?”
FORTUNE -- Taxpayers may not realize it, but they just bailed out Bank of America again, this time to the tune of more than a half billion dollars.
The Charlotte, NC-based bank was one of the biggest recipients of bailout funds during the financial crisis. But Bank of America (BAC) continues to face deep problems related to its troubled mortgage portfolio and investors have battered the stock, which has plunged over 40% so far this year. That's escalated concerns that the bank may need to raise more capital. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism has even started a BofA death watch.
But apparently the federal government is determined to resurrect BofA: the Wall Street Journal reports the feds have just used Fannie Mae, which is controlled by the U.S. government, to infuse BofA with $500 million and ease one of the bank's biggest headaches.