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Party's over at one Malibu house

September 16, 2009

"Tough stand on Malibu home," Sept 12, and "Bank fires exec who allegedly used home," Sept. 15

If the allegations in The Times are true, then I've got to hand it to this senior VP who, when faced with a choice of foreclosed Wells Fargo homes in Merced, Stockton, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, chose instead a multimillion-dollar beachfront home in Malibu.

When looking for our next home, you can rest assured that I will contact this most perceptive Wells Fargo executive. How could I go wrong?

Robert R. Silvers

Beverly Hills

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The former Wells Fargo senior executive seems to display all the qualifications to serve in the California Legislature: greed, disregard for ethics and egomania.

William J. Dermody

Huntington Beach

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I never fail to be amazed by the sheer gall of company executives who take personal advantage of situations that are presented because of their status. Because the Malibu property in question is owned by Wells Fargo Bank, and because Wells Fargo had the property on the rental market for $60,000 a month, I think that it would be only fair that the executive be asked to pay the appropriate monthly rental for the time that her family benefited from the Malibu lifestyle.

Robert Bernstein

West Hills, Calif.

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Dear Wells Fargo: We are not at all surprised by the recent revelations surrounding the actions of your agent. This situation typifies what we have come to expect from some institutions, and this corporate elite behavior must come to an immediate end.

We call now, loudly, for comprehensive banking reform. Without it, you will continue to dance on our dreams, using our money to do it. The American people -- the customers who keep you in business -- deserve better.

William J. McCarthy

Anaheim Hills

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I am assuming that this executive will be paying income taxes on the value received for this use at the going rate of $60,000 a month since April, when the house was listed as a vacation rental. That's a lot for weekends, but the buck's got to stop somewhere.

Douglas Breidenbach

Valley Glen, Calif.

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I don't see anything wrong with Wells Fargo using the foreclosed Malibu home to compensate one of its executives as long as it reports the use of the house as compensation to the executive. After all, the asset belongs to it, and it's the company's business how to use it.

As for the people who lost the house because they "invested" so much money with Bernie Madoff: It's no different than with someone who loses a job or overpays for a property and then loses it.

Nato Flores

Sun Valley

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As quoted in your article, one broker from Coldwell Banker thinks that using somebody else's property is "thinking outside the box." I think it is stealing. It was "thinking outside the box" by AIG, Countrywide, Bernie Madoff and others that put our country in the shape it's in. We need less of the previous administration's anything-goes attitude and more of the current administration's work ethic.

Frank E. Austin III

Houston

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This is but a symptom of the huge housing nightmare facing towns and cities across the country. We've already faced mortgage abuses, monster bank bailouts, punitive foreclosures and new, harsh restrictions on future loans.

This joyless economy seems the result of our own lawlessness. I wonder if any of us can be shocked out of our numbness from all this fiscal abuse? Can we come together and demand action?

John Thomas Ellis

Kentfield, Calif.

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