Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan wants you to know that you disgust him. You, with all your whining and bellyaching about having to pay a fee to access your own money.

Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan said he’s “incensed” by public criticism of his company and is pushing back by reminding local leaders of its contributions to their economies.

Moynihan, 52, told employees in a global town hall meeting last week from the firm’s Charlotte, North Carolina, headquarters that the “place to win the battle” over the bank’s battered public image is at the state and municipal level […]

“I, like you, get a little incensed when you think about how much good all of you do, whether it’s volunteer hours, charitable giving we do, serving clients and customers well,” Moynihan said during the Oct. 18 gathering. To the bank’s critics, he said, “You ought to think a little about that before you start yelling at us.”

Exactly! Moynihan’s company takes advantage of charitable deductions to deliver a pittance of support to neighborhood food banks and putting its name on local events in a form of advertising disguised as patronage! Surely this is enough of a contribution to allow BofA to steal homes, defraud state courts and charge fees for using a debit card!

I know what Bank of America can do to get back in the good graces of cities, states, small businesses and individuals, and it has nothing to do with being a presenting sponsor of “Pony Days” down at Memorial Park. They could go ahead and behave like a bank, instead of a psychopath. This could be their gateway to a positive public image! What they could do is take deposits and use the funds to hand out loans at reasonable rates, facilitating the deployment of capital and allowing businesses to thrive and grow. When the individuals and businesses pay off the loan, the bank wins from the collection of interest, and the borrowers win by putting the money they borrowed up front to productive use. It’s this amazing little idea that could form the foundation for a stronger economy. Amazingly, it has nothing to do with mortgage backed securities or CDOs or credit default swaps! It’s terribly boring, I know: you can’t go back to the trading desk and slap five with the big-time lords of finance over fleecing investors on bad loan deals, and you can’t bask in the glow of chopping up dodgy mortgages into a bundle where you get away with a big payday even when the loans go bad. On the other hand, you’re no longer seen as the personification of evil. So that helps you when you walk around the neighborhood.

David Dayen

David Dayen