So: Visa and Mastercard—who've helped ensure that your brokeass stays broke after buying things that leave you broke—waived fees on Haiti donation transactions. Wells Fargo didn't. Somebody on the internet bitched about it. Wells Fargo's response is hysterical:
Michael Klosterman, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, defended the bank's response to the Haiti disaster, saying the money it donated to Haiti more than makes up for their transaction fees.
"We have given $100,000 to the American Red Cross, and on January 19 we pledged an additional $250,000 to support the non-profits in Florida that are mobilizing the relief efforts," Klosterman said. "We decided that donating a sum of money would be quicker and more beneficial than waiving transaction fees because the funds would get to the people quicker. It would take the equivalent of $35 million in transactions to raise the amount of money we actually donated."
Get why this is funny?
1. Because the amount Wells Fargo has given is so small! $350,000 is, um, nothing. That's a house. A small house. That's not even a studio in Manhattan. Is that even a college education?
2. There probably won't be $35M in transactions, which is the slimy inherent reasoning Wells Fargo uses to justify not waiving the fee, widely missing the point that transaction fees are the banking customer's bane of existence, and thus, might get in the way of getting money to Haiti. Also, they put out a press line that also subtly tries to advertise their low banking fees, which is as insensitive as it is stupid.
3. Bank of America donated $1M, waived fees, and are matching employee contributions, and they're just the worst. What's that make Wells Fargo? Seeing as how their stock price is thirteen points ahead of Bank of America's, for one thing, the more valued stock of the two companies for a reason, but for another, fucking cheap.
Anyway, the point is that a liquidated bank could turn Haiti from a Third World Country into a First World Country sometime by the middle of February, but because banks are institutions predicated on nothing more than trying to grow money when they're not separating their customers from their money and making it theirs, they'll simply throw a few bucks Haiti's way because they think it creates good will amongst The People and that it makes The People want to bank with them, and for the dumbest ones, it does! So really it's a choice between evil and really evil, and in this case, Wells Fargo won The "Really Evil" Trophy while Bank of America wins The "Bullshit Good Graces" Ribbon. If anything, it certainly makes choosing between buying the two stocks easier.
Update: A reader corrects my embarrassingly bad misreading of Google Finance. "Probably a better way to compare the value of the two companies is to look at the total value of their stock, which would be the price of one share times the number of shares they've issued. On Google Finance it's listed as Mkt Cap (market capitalization), and BAC's is 131.31B (8.65B shares x $15.18 per share), while WFC is 147.23B (5.18B shares x $28.43 per share). So WFC is worth, as a company, more than BAC, but only about 12% more. They just haven't issued as many shares (5.1 billion vs. 8.6 billion), so each share is more valuable because it represents a larger piece of the company. Google, for instance, has a market cap of 168B (about 12% more than WFC) but has only issued 317 million shares, which is why a single share costs $530." And we learn something new every day!