“We have wasted the past couple years pursuing a mindless vendetta against the banking industry, even though very few banks had anything to do with creating the crisis and most are victims of it. It’s past time for government to put the crisis behind and make job number one helping the private sector get back to work.”
This is as PRO-BANK and anti-regulation/law enforcement as it gets.
MERRILL’S bonuses given soon after the BoA take over are actually defended…
B of A’s reward for doing the deals was to be summoned to Congress to explain why senior folks at Merrill Lynch were allowed to receive contractually agreed bonuses at the end of 2008. The Securities and Exchange Commission piled on with an enforcement action claiming the bonuses were not properly disclosed in proxy materials.
B of A Learns No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Bank Think Article – American Banker
You might know that B of A acquired two giant firms — Countrywide and Merrill Lynch — during the 2008 crisis. What you might not know is that these acquisitions were done without government aid.
If you are a shareholder of B of A, particularly one with a short-term horizon, you are likely unhappy with the acquisitions. But as a citizen and taxpayer you should be very thankful that B of A stepped up to the plate in the dark days of the financial crisis.
As bad as the crisis was, imagine how much more serious it would have been had Countrywide and Merrill Lynch failed. Countrywide was one of the largest home lenders in the country and Merrill Lynch was the largest investment banking firm. Alternatively, imagine how expensive it would have been for government to provide assistance to resolve those firms.
After completing due diligence on Merrill Lynch in late 2008, B of A concluded that Merrill was in worse shape than anticipated and considered abandoning the deal. Then Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson threatened that B of A would regret walking from the deal.
William M. Isaac, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, is senior managing director and global head of financial institutions at FTI Consulting, chairman of Fifth Third Bancorporation, and author of “Senseless Panic: How Washington Failed America.” The views expressed are his own.
Check out the rest here…