America

Report: Bank Of America Bracing For Potential WikiLeaks Document Dump

In late November, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange said he intended to release documents that showed an "eco system of corruption" at a major American bank. According to The New York Times that statement alone has Bank of America in full defense mode. The Times reports:

[A] team of 15 to 20 top Bank of America officials, led by the chief risk officer, Bruce R. Thompson, has been overseeing a broad internal investigation — scouring thousands of documents in the event that they become public, reviewing every case where a computer has gone missing and hunting for any sign that its systems might have been compromised.

The Times also reports that BoA has hired the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton to scour records. They quote an unnamed bank official saying the company wants to be ahead of the situation. But analysts say this proves one thing clearly: Assange's and Wikileaks' credibility is cemented by BoA's actions.

Nathan Vardi at Forbes says you can tell just how serious Assange is being taken by the amount of money a few of his words are costing Bank of America. An internal review like this is not cheap:

How much money can an internal investigation really cost? Don’t underestimate professionals who bill every six minutes. The U.S. government has in recent years, for example, induced corporations to conduct highly expensive internal investigation to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In the biggest such investigation, law firm Debevoise & Plimpton and consulting/accounting firm Deloitte & Touche charged German engineering giant Siemens $850 million in fees and expenses. Debevoise deployed 100 lawyers and 110 support staff who billed 582,000 hours, while Deloitte put 1,300 staff members on the job, who worked 949,000 hours searching 40 million bank documents and reviewing 127 million accounting records.

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