Hey, Bank of America shareholder, how does it feel to have the executives deceive investors (in other words, lie), escape any personal responsibility for the lies, cause huge losses and, then, stick YOU with a bill for over $2 BILLION? Well, probably not a great feeling but, screw you, you are just an investor, not a coddled, overpaid executive who just got handed a stay-out-of-jail card.
That is the upshot from this settlement:
Seeking to unload one of its heaviest burdens from the financial crisis, Bank of America announced on Friday that it would pay $2.43 billion to settle litigation that had accused the bank of deceiving investors in the acquisition of Merrill Lynch.The legal woes from that deal and the bank’s acquisition of the mortgage lender Countrywide Financial earlier in the financial crisis have dogged Bank of America as it tries to turn itself around.
For a federal securities class action, the size of the Merrill settlement is surpassed only by the those of Enron, WorldCom, Tyco and Cendant settlements, according to Joseph Grundfest, a professor specializing in securities litigation at Stanford University Law School.
This is the most hilarious, if outrageous, part:
Bank of America denied the allegations, but said it agreed to settle in order to put the litigation behind it.“Resolving this litigation removes uncertainty and risk and is in the best interests of our shareholders,” Brian T. Moynihan, the bank’s chief executive, said in a statement. “As we work to put these long-standing issues behind us, our primary focus is on the future and serving our customers and clients.”[emphasis added]
The best interests of the shareholders? That was long ago cast aside when the execs lied in pursuit of their own greed and power.But, this is a trend.
Barclays executives pay hundreds of millions of dollars in shareholder money to wipe away fraud charges–and no executives go to jail.
Goldman Sachs’ executives get away with a slap on the wrist for the bargain of $550 million.
And JP Morgan executives get the same kid-gloves treatment for the cheap price of $153 million.
The only way to ever change this corrupt, greedy thievery is to put these people in jail. Shareholder money has been used to give all of these guys a pass on immoral, illegal behavior.