On Sept. 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers became the largest bankruptcy filing in the history of this country. It was the first domino of many to fall, followed by the likes of Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, and many other banks and investment firms that had bet too much money on the subprime mortgage market, only to have it collapse when people realized many of those bad loans would never be repaid. These events ripped apart the American economy and left people out of work for extended periods of time. But not most of the bankers responsible for the mess. [More]
Another day, another settlement for reigning Worst Company In America runner-up Bank of America. This time, BofA has agreed to pay $315 to plaintiffs in a class-action suit over mortgage-backed investments sold by Merrill Lynch, the once-great financial institution that BofA swooped in to save when it collapsed in 2008. [More]
A U.S. District Court Judge signed off on the $150 million settlement between Bank of America Corp. and the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations of making misleading statements during BofA’s purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co., but he wasn’t exactly happy about doing it. [More]
Andrew Cuomo has announced a lawsuit against Bank of America’s former CEO Kenneth D. Lewis, its former CFO Joseph L. Price, and the company itself, for “duping shareholders and the federal government in order to complete a merger with Merrill Lynch.” Uh oh! [More]
Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain is famous for, among other things, spending $1.2 million to redecorate his office as the company was going down in flames. For some reason, Thain’s shopping spree of $87,000 area rugs, a $18,000 desk, and a $35,000 chest of drawers didn’t go over well.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office is gathering information in order to file fraud charges against some BoA executives over what they knew, and what they hid, when they acquired Merrill Lynch & Co. a year ago. Earlier this week, his office subpoenaed 5 board members to find out “what they knew regarding the mounting losses and bonus payments at Merrill before the deal closed on Jan. 1 and what role they played in deciding whether to disclose that information to shareholders,” according to the Associated Press.
Judge Jed Rakoff, our favorite crusading curmudgeon of the court, is at it again. And once again, he’s turned his ire to the backroom deal that Bank of America tried to cut with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle a complaint about outsize bonuses paid at Merrill Lynch before BofA took it over last year. The $33 million settlement, Rakoff wrote in his decision, “does not comport with the most elementary notions of justice and morality.”
Recently, the SEC settled with Bank of America over charges that the company mislead its investors about the $3.6 billion in bonuses paid by Merrill as the brokerage was being taken over. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, however, isn’t buying it. He’s refusing to approve the settlement until it can be shown that the $33 million Bank of America agreed to pay is adequate. That’s nice, but he best part is that the judge is being hilariously sarcastic during the hearings.
Slate has put together a sarcastic look at financial-type commercials through the years. We like the one with Samuel L. Jackson and the centaur.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office is at it again. They’ve been investigating the circumstances that led to the merger of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch and the subsequent bonus payments to executives. In a letter to Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Cuomo quotes Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis as saying that former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson threatened him with removal from his position and mass firing of the board and senior management if he didn’t allow the merger to go through.
Expensive coffee that “tastes burnt”? Or the owners of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide?
Well, it looks like the whole Merrill Lynch bonus scandal may have a Scooby Doo ending — with a judge unmasking the executives by the end of next week.
Virginia Hammerness, the 75-year-old heiress to A.P. Giannini’s family fortune and a significant stockholder in Bank of America, the bank her grandfather founded in San Francisco in 1904, has harsh words for the people in charge.