9 signs the world will end in 2012

The most lucrative topics in pop culture are now zombies, vampires, and the end of the world -- with good reason. Here are 9 signs 2012 will indeed be our last year (Good call, Mayans!)

$8.5 billion ain't what it used to be
$8.5 billion ain't what it used to be

Back in June, it looked like Bank of America had a rare win on its hands: a proposed settlement with trustee Bank of New York to the tune of $8.5 billion, meant to restore the damage done by faulty mortgage-backed securities financed by BofA's Countrywide division. Come October, the settlement fell apart because investors (among many other vocal groups, too) didn't feel the figure was high enough. $8.5 billion, not enough money? Yikes. That's a scary indicator for banking in general, but also for BofA considering it is more than the institution made in the last four years combined. The collapsed deal is another low-point in a rough year for the bank and CEO Brian Moynihan. At least he axed those $5 debit card fees.

By Daniel Roberts, reporter @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 27 2011: 5:46 AM ET
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