Matt Taibbi: A Whistleblower’s Horror Story -No good Deed goes Unpunished -SSDD
One could say SSDC —Same Stuff Different Century
But today, Winston is tasting the sometimes-extreme downside of being a whistleblower in modern America.
Countryrywide (and the firm that acquired it, Bank of America) in court. At first, that fight proved a good gamble, as a jury granted him a multi-million-dollar award for retaliation and wrongful termination.
But after Winston won that case, an appellate judge not only wiped out that jury verdict, but allowed Bank of America to counterattack him with a vengeance.
That single transaction means a good guy in the crisis drama, Winston, had by the end of 2014 paid a larger individual penalty than virtually every wrongdoer connected with the financial collapse of 2008
Richard Bowen, at the time the bank’s chief underwriter, wrote a memo to senior bank executives (including board chairman, key Obama advisor, and former Clinton Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin), issuing a stark warning. He said that as much as 60 percent of the mortgages the bank was acquiring and packaging did not meet the company’s credit guidelines.
“The number one concern is that it incentivizes people to do nothing,” Fleischmann says. “The likely thing people will do in the future is just quit.”
Winston today insists he would do the same thing, if he had to do it all over again. But unless the next Attorney General radically changes the policy toward whistleblowers, the future might see even fewer people come forward.