According to an interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in October 2009, the whistleblowers are sitting on a huge file, containing documents originated from the hard drive of an executive at Bank of America. This has fueled the speculation about BoA being the target of the next megaleak by the controversial publisher, planning the uploaded early next year. The share price of Americas largest bank drop on the rumors.
“We want to get as much substantive information as possible into the historical record, keep it accessible and provide incentives for people to turn it into something that will achieve political reform.”
Bank of America dismiss the speculation that it is the “big US bank” that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes magazine will be the website’s next target. However, the investors are not completely convinced. Bank of America tumbled more than 3% at New York Stock exchange yesterday, but at the moment share price is edging up slightly in the pre-market trading.
The current upward move of 0,6% could also be a sign of traders shorting the stock, taking positions before the US markets open later on today.
“Aside from the claims themselves, we have no evidence that supports this assertion. We are unaware of any new claims by WikiLeaks that pertain specifically to Bank of America.”
Here’s the quote from the article in ComputerWorld, October 9 2009:
“At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive’s hard drives,” he said. “Now how do we present that? It’s a difficult problem. We could just dump it all into one giant Zip file, but we know for a fact that has limited impact. To have impact, it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search it and get something out of it.”
(See also: Wiki-Founder Compare Upcoming Bank Leak To Enron)
No Surprise, Anyway
Wall Street watchers, however, wondered just how damaging any material could be to one of the big banks, given that many are already plagued by scandal.
“We already know the banks are grossly incompetent, can’t manage risk and would be dead without taxpayer support,” Barry Ritholtz, a Wall Street money manager who rails on the bankers at his Big Picture blog, told Fortune magazine. “What are we going to find in these leaks — that free checking isn’t really free?”
“Anyone who follows the banking industry knows these guys are essentially insolvent,” said Ritholtz. “So we’re not going to get surprised there.”
Forbes reporter Andrew Greenberg, who conducted the interview with Assange, noted in his blog Tuesday that there likely isn’t much material about Bank of America that isn’t already known.
“As much as any bank on Wall Street, BoA has been scrutinized in recent years by everyone from plaintiffs’ attorneys in class-action investor suits to the New York Attorney General‘s office,” he writes, adding that Assange told him “he had unpublished, potentially damaging documents on multiple finance firms, beyond the bank ‘megaleak’ that we discussed.”
Here’s some of the reports uploaded on YouTube over the last 12 hours.
CNBC reports that Interpol has issued an international arrest order for Julian Assange – and (of course) advising investors to “buy aggressively” into BoA shares…
Julian Assange is probably more wanted by the international authorities than Osama Bin-Laden at the moment – it’s no joke messing with the big bankers:
Related by The Swapper:
- WikiLeaks Under Massive Cyber Attack
- Julian Assange: Journalist, Activist or Informant?
- Swedish Police Drop Rape Charges Against Julian Assange
- The REAL Weapon of Mass Destruction
- Bank of America: No proof we’re WikiLeaks’ target (money.cnn.com)
- Wikileaks’ Next Target: Bank of America? (dealbook.nytimes.com)
- WikiLeaks Has Said It Holds Bank of America Documents (businessweek.com)
- Is Bank of America next leak target? (boston.com)
- Bank of America Shares Fall on WikiLeaks Fear (abcnews.go.com)