Bank Of America Threatens $220 Billion Lawsuit If It Doesn't Get LaSalle Bank

In what would be the largest lawsuit in the history of mankind, Bank of America has threated to sue LaSalle Bank’s parent company if it fails to acquire the Chicago bank. Bank of America had a deal in place to buy LaSalle from its parent company ABN Amro, when a group of European bankers lead by the Royal Bank of Scotland stepped in with a hostile bid for the entire company. Just for some perspective on how ridiculously huge a $220 billion lawsuit is:

• $220 is “equivalent to the gross domestic product of Greece.”

• “Twice ABN’s entire market value.”

• “Ten times the $21 billion LaSalle price tag”

• Enough money to make 656 Spider-man sequels at current market price.


BoA threatens ABN with $220bn lawsuit over LaSalle [Times of London]
(Photo: Nick d)

PREVIOUSLY: Bank of America Buys LaSalle Bank, Becomes Biggest Bank In Chicago
Bank of America May Not Get LaSalle Bank After All


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  1. rbb says:

    $220 is “equivalent to the gross domestic product of Greece.”

    Huh, I always thought some country other than Greece was the poorest in the world. But, $220 is an awfully small GDP…

  2. bambino says:

    @rbb: Y’beat me to it.

  3. dantsea says:

    Ah, so that’s what a corporate hissy fit looks like.

  4. Tallanvor says:

    @rbb: For a country of 11 million people, it’s not all that bad. Even Israel only has a GDP of about $130 billion (or if you prefer another country, Chile’s is $115 billion).

  5. cde says:

    @rbb: I don’t even want to know what their GDP Per Capita is then…

  6. j.a.s.o.n says:

    Can anyone explain how figures like the $220 billion here are arrived at? If the $21 billion price tag is a measure of the future value of LaSalle, how can BoA demand ten times more than that in the case of loss from the sale not going through? I would think if I were on the board of BoA that I would secretly be hoping that the sale not go through because I only need the lawsuit to succeed one time in ten to recoup my lost value from the sale not going through. What am I missing?

  7. lore says:

    This is starting to smell like that one DC judge/lawyer who served a Korean laundromat with a $65 million (or was it billion?) lawsuit because they lost his pants.

  8. bambino says:

    @Tallanvor: $220 ain’t bad? Really? You can barely buy a Dyson for that!

  9. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Really old joke:
    What’s the capital of Greece?
    About 1000 drachmas!

  10. rugger_can says:

    The greed of man knows no bounds.

  11. mac-phisto says:

    this is lose-lose of all of us. if you’re not familiar with the “too big to fail” doctrine, & gov’t-subsidization of banks, you may want to read up. this one could get ugly.

  12. aixwiz says:

    A company in Greece made $220 alone from my wife when she purchased olive oil-based skin care products.

  13. Bourque77 says:

    In BoAs defense, If they had an agreement in place and then someone stepped in at the last minute to bump them I’d be pissed too. Although if they had an agreement I dont legally see how they could not sell it to BoA but hell companies dont care about legal stuff, thats why we have lawyers.

  14. shdwsclan says:

    Well, as long as there is no BOA logo on my lasalle card doesnt become a BOA card, im all for it….
    When I opened up it used to be called cargins or cragin….or something like that…then it became craigin lasalle then just lasalle, then abn lasalle, And the service quality really hasnt changed……they still take my euros an exchange them to dollars for free….not like the assholes at Western Union that undersell the dollar[using outdated exchange rates] and then charge you $8 for the exchange. So in the end…50 euros comes to 50 dollars….

    When they said $8 dollars, i told them to go to hell and give me my 50 euros back.
    Western union really….isnt good for anything other than wiring money and telegram….and they cancelled the telegram portion…

  15. Canadian Impostor says:

    @shdwsclan: Something tells me you’re not going to be happy…

  16. Gizmodo says:

    BofA should email Consumerist complaining that LaSalle bank renigged on an agreement and Consumerist can then supply BofA with the executive phone numbers to complain to :)

  17. mac-phisto says:

    @shdwsclan: have you checked out sending money internationally via paypal? i think they use real-time exchanges also.

  18. orig_club_soda says:

    I’d rather have 656 Spider-man sequels at current market price than more BoA locations.

  19. @j.a.s.o.n: “Can anyone explain how figures like the $220 billion here are arrived at?”

    I have the same issue. I honestly think at that level it’s imaginary money. There are no goods here wither $220 billion that people are going to consume. There’s no food. No clothes. No necessities of life. It’s imaginary stock-market numbers that never actually come to exist in reality because nobody ever insists they be worth an actual thing — just worth what we’ve all agreed floating currencies are worth.

    This makes me nervous when I think about it too hard.

  20. LeopardSeal says:

    They had planned to sue for a kerjillion dollars, but had to change it after being told it wasn’t a real number.

  21. Major-General says:


    Depends on whose acquisition occurs first. I would imagine it would be easier for European banks to buy another European bank than for an American bank, especially BoA, to buy an American branh of a European bank.

    I think the buyout would get cancelled if ABN Amro is bought first, then the new owners tell BoA that the deals off.