BankAmerica Corporation Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia about the United States finanical institution and business BankAmerica.

BANKAMERICA

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During the Depression, Bank of America held the largest share of California farm debt mortgages, equipment loans, and advances on crops. Using the bank's power to acquire property when customers defaulted on their loans, the bank's subsidiary, California Lands, became one of the State's largest landowners in the 1930s. By 1940 California lands grew 60 crops on over 2,600 farms consisting of over 600,000 acres. The bank then sold these lands to integrated agribusiness companies. These companies have interlocking directorates with oil companies, railroads, and banks, including the Bank of America. Through these interlocking boards of directors, the agribusiness companies and the banks control California's economy and government.

Giannini was responsible for introducing H. J. Kaiser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The new President was eager to help Kaiser since Kaiser sat on the bank's board of directors and Giannini was one of the few bankers to contribute to Roosevelt's election. Roosevelt returned the favor by giving Kaiser Industries contracts for building 35% of the country's ship tonnage during W.W. II. Kaiser had never built a ship before. In California during the war, the bank opened branches at Japanese-American detention centers, so the internees could deposit with the bank any of their possessions that had not been confiscated by the Government.

When asked why they had burned the Bank of America's Isla Vista branch in 1970, one student replied: "Well, it was there....the biggest capitalist establishment thing around."

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