Tuesday, October 13, 2009

BofA to give up the goods

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 10:26 AM

It's about damn time, The Ken. What's taken so long? Not interested in hanging out with Bernie Maddoff for an eternity, eh?

In a stunning reversal, Bank of America’s board has voted to reveal the legal advice that the bank received late last year about its merger with Merrill Lynch, according to three people briefed on the matter.

With a stroke of a pen, the bank’s decision will remove a stumbling block in a wide range of cases. The documents may exonerate bank executives, like its retiring chief, Kenneth D. Lewis, or may provide the evidence that some investigators are seeking to lay blame at individuals’ feet.

The bank’s decision was prompted by a series of conversations over the last two weeks with the office of New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, who had threatened to charge individual Bank of America executives — including Mr. Lewis — with wrongdoing, the people briefed on the matter said. The bank also faced a deadline this week to provide a log of its private legal documents to a House committee.

The legal and public relations cost of the bank’s merger with Merrill Lynch, conceived in the heat of the financial crisis last fall, have threatened to overwhelm most of the benefits from the merger.

At their core, the investigations center on why the bank kept key information about Merrill’s bonuses or its losses secret from its shareholders.

Read the entire New York Times article here.

"This is straight-up capitalism. Chi-chi-BOOM."

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