February 23, 2010
Long live the painful mosaic...
Securities Regulation is undoubtedly a difficult patchwork of federal and state, civil and criminal, private and public authorities and actions. So it was conceived in 1933/34, and so it remains today.
As we were all reminded by the written decision of Honorable Judge Rakoff that yesterday approved the settlement between the SEC and Bank of America. In "reluctantly" granting approval, the court nonetheless reiterated enough concerns about the events attending the BOA-Merrill Lynch merger of the fall 2008 so as to turn eyes to the pending New York State Attorney General's complaint against BOA and two of its former officials. That civil suit, lodged on February 4th, alleges fraud and manipulation on essentially the same facts underlying the SEC settlement.
The 15-page "Opinion and Order" of Judge Rakoff on the SEC suit is available at http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/business/BofAOpinion.pdf. While its pointed critique of the Commission's efforts ultimately yielded to judicial deference for negotiated settlements ("In the exercise of...self-restraint, this Court, while shaking its head, grants the S.E.C.'s motion..."), the settlement's worth a read for the references to Yogi Berra and Harlan Fiske Stone alone.
February 23, 2010 | Permalink