Thursday, August 21, 2008
The Wall St. Journal reports that state regulators have entered into settlements with three more securities firms to buy back "billions" of dollars of auction rate securities from retail investors, small businesses and charities. In addition, Merrill Lynch will pay a $125 million penalty, Goldman Sachs will pay a $22.5 million penalty, and Deutsche Bank will pay a $15 million penalty. The Journal also reports that Merrill Lynch entered a separate settlement with the Massachusetts Attorney General to buy back illiquid ARSs from retail customers. (As of 6:40 p.m. today, there are no announcements on the websites of NASAA, the New York AG, or the Massachusetts Secretary of State. Meanwhile, a check of the SEC's website the last few days shows that it has been busy suspending trading in stocks that haven't made the requisite filings.) WSJ, Auction-Rate Securities Accords Between Banks, States Continue.