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Here is What’s Wrong With Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)

If you have a mortgage with Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and want to refinance, don’t bother.

You are not worth the bank’s time. Or at least I wasn’t.

That’s what I learned first-hand last week when I called Bank of America to refinance a home mortgage I’ve had with them for years.

My jaw practically hit the floor when Alejandro from BofA’s mortgage department told me this over the phone.

“Because of excessively high demand,” Alejandro said, “we can’t accept your refinancing application. But we can take a reservation and have an agent call you in 90 to 120 days.”

Huh?…You can’t be serious.

I really have to wait three or four months to even apply for a lower interest rate when I’ve been an existing customer for years?

Yeah, I bet, I thought to myself…

They’ll call me when interest rates are much higher or when BofA works its way through its part of the $25 billion robo-signing settlement reached over its abuses in the foreclosure process.

Of course, all of this is after BofA received $45 billion in taxpayer bailout funding.

And after they reportedly shifted the risks associated with $75 trillion in derivatives from its investment banking and trading units to BofA’s depository arm, a unit flush with FDIC-insured deposits.

But that is another story for another day.

How Bank of America Treats its Customers

Suspecting something wasn’t quite right, I made a second call to BofA to inquire about a new loan.

Not ten minutes later I was put through immediately to an underwriter who was all too happy to help a new, unknown prospect – a.k.a. me – take on more debt. Imagine that.

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The Bernanke Effect on Gold Prices, Silver Prices Means Time to Buy Metals

Gold prices hit a two-month low Wednesday after the Federal Reserve indicated no new stimulus measures would be issued, and silver prices slumped to a seven-week low.

The metals fell after the Fed, led by Chairman Ben Bernanke, announced a positive outlook on the U.S. economy. The Fed reaffirmed it would hold interest rates near zero through 2014, and failed to mention any more means of stimulus.

Without more Fed steps to stimulate growth, and with more positive U.S. economic data, investors expect the dollar to strengthen which puts downward pressure on gold and silver prices.

But the long-term outlook for gold and silver is the same, and investors should instead take the Bernanke Effect as a key time to buy metals.

“This should be treated as an opportunity to buy, or if you already own but feel you don’t own enough, to accumulate,” said Money Morning commodities and mining expert Peter Krauth. “These two precious metals remain in a secular bull market and are integral to every investor’s portfolio.”

The Bernanke Effect on Gold Prices, Silver Prices

After Tuesday’s Fed announcement, gold for April delivery fell $51.30, or 3%, to finish at $1,642.90 an ounce. May silver slumped $1.40, or 4.2%, to $32.18 an ounce.

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It’s 2007.2, and Our Next “Lehman Moment’ Is Coming Fast

It seems that my Thursday edition of Wall Street Insights & Indictments was warmly received by the bullish crowd, many of whom reached out to me to thank me for my optimism. I’m sorry to burst your bubbles, but I am not a raging bull (but thank you for asking). In fact, I’m still bearish. There’s a big…

Paul Krugman is Dead Wrong, Debt Matters

Paul Krugman, the Princeton University economics professor, Nobel Prize winner, and regular New York Times op-ed contributor says, “Debt matters, but not that much.”Not only is he off the reservation on this one, but he’s completely fallen off his high horse. In the real world, debt actually matters a lot. In a New York Times…

How Banks Are Using Your Money to Create the Next Crash

In 2008, reckless credit default swaps nearly obliterated the global economy. Now comes the next crisis – rehypothecated assets.

It’s a complicated, fancy term in the global banking complex. Yet it’s one you need to know.

And if you understand it, you will get the scope of the risks we currently face – and it’s way bigger than just Greece.

So follow with me on this one. I guarantee that you’ll be outraged and amazed – and better educated. You’ll also be in a better position to protect your assets at the end of this article, where I’ll give you three important action steps to take. So follow along…

Their Profits on Your Money

Few people know this, but there’s a process through which banks and trading houses are leveraging your money to increase their profits – just like they did in the run-up to the last financial crisis. Only this time, things may be worse, as hard as that is to imagine.

Consider: In 2007 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that this form of “leverage” accounted for more than half of the total activity in the “shadow” banking system , which equates to a potential problem that would put this insidious little practice on the order of $5 trillion to $10 trillion range. And this is in addition to the bailouts and money printing that’s happened so far.

Wall Street would have you believe this figure has gone down in recent years as regulators and customers alike expressed outrage that their assets were being used in ways beyond regulation and completely off the balance sheet. But I have a hard time believing that.

Wall Street is addicted to leverage and, when given the opportunity to self-police, has rarely, if ever, taken actions that would threaten profits.

Further, what I am about to share with you is one of main the reasons why Europe is in such deep trouble and why our banking system will get hammered if the European Union (EU) goes down.

And w hat makes this so disgusting – take a deep breath – is that it’s our money that’s at stake. Regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and their overseas equivalents are not only letting big banks get away with what I am about to describe, but have made it an integral part of the present banking system.

Worse, central bankers condone it.

As you might expect, the concept behind this malfeasance is complicated. But it’s key to understanding the financial crisis and to avoiding a possible global recession in 2012 and beyond.

What we’re talking about is something called “rehypothecation.”

Most people have never heard the term, but trust me, you will shortly. Let me explain what this is, and why you need to know about it. Then, I’ll offer three ideas to trade around it.

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