Wikileaks' Julian Assange has made much of the 5GB of data taken from an executive at Bank of America, saying it could potentially "take down" the institution and perhaps a few others. But privately, Assange sings a different tune: Three sources tell Reuters that Assange has found the material difficult to translate from the complicated language of high finance and that a team of financial experts would be needed to sniff out any impropriety—if it even exists.
The bank data, then, may be a load of wholly quotidian communications without any bombshell. If that proves true, it will spur on critics who say Assange is prone to exaggerate the website's impact. He told Forbes in November that the documents contained "some flagrant violations, unethical practices"—and later, on 60 Minutes, delighted in the fact that "we have all these banks squirming."