Static: Wednesday, July 30, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Sub-Prime Departure

Static was surprised to hear of the resignation on July 18 of Dan Porter, chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo Financial, the banking giant’s subprime lending branch, just a week after Fort Worth Weekly ran a story (“Wells Fargo Woes,” July 10, 2003) on a Watauga woman who was victimized by the company’s predatory lending practices. Even ACORN, the consumer watchdog group that is waging a national campaign against the company, doesn’t suggest that its pressure brought about Porter’s departure — but they’re happy about it nonetheless. A Wells Fargo press release quoted Porter as saying he wanted “to bring more balance to my work and home life,” and praised him for increasing the company’s net income from $247 million in 1999 to over $360 million last year.

ACORN wants the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to investigate the company. “Any change at Wells Fargo Financial could hardly be for the worse,” said ACORN’s national president Maude Hurd. “This branch of Wells Fargo makes predatory loans, charging borrowers, including borrowers with good credit, whatever it can get away with. Wells Fargo Financial will either reform or drag the rest of the company down with it.” We’ll be watching with, um, interest.

Dem bones

Rumors were rampant in a Northeast Fort Worth neighborhood after a garbage collector found genuine human skulls and bones in a box on the curb. Television and print reporters showed up, but neighbors never saw anything on tv or in the daily paper. A mass cover-up?

Sorry, all you Sherlocks, but nothing too exciting to report. Several months ago, a property owner on Chandler Avenue found a skull in a shed on a neighboring property and called police, who determined the skull was plastic. Later, the man was planning on buying the lot. Cleaning out an old shed on the land, he found more skulls and bones, which he placed in boxes on the curb. After a garbage collector called police, an investigation determined that some of the skulls and bones were indeed human, but had been left behind years ago by a medical supply company. No foul play, just bones for student research.

The real mystery is why television news crews, which will sensationalize a story about an injured doodlebug, didn’t air the story anyway.

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