Tuesday, July 5, 2011

With balls like those, you wonder how hotshot bankers can get out of bed

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Bank of America’s $8.5 billion settlement with 22 large investors gives us a clearer picture of how deep the nation’s mortgage trading problems really are — and the picture is of an ever-deepening chasm, meaning that we’re not finished with learning the vast scope of 2008’s problems. So says Charles Ferguson, the director of the must-see film Inside Job, which explains clearly what happened in the years before financial investment irresponsibility nearly tanked the economy.

Ferguson, in an article in New York magazine, notes that these large investors were likely to have reined in their risk-taking in the late stages of the bubble. So if it took $8.5 billion to salve the wounds of BofA’s largest investors, then imagine what lies beneath. “Multiply that by all the investors who were scammed by the big banks,” writes Ferguson, “and the potential liabilities are astronomical.” (Also featured in New York is a welcome, long piece by former New York Times icon Frank Rich on Pres. Obama’s failure to bring the nation’s financial criminals to justice.)

Ferguson agrees that the Obama administration has been of very little help, particularly to the coalition of states’ attorneys general who are trying to reach a bank settlement agreement over the country’s massive foreclosure fraud problems. The banks, he writes, are demanding broad amnesty from future  prosecutions. With balls like those, you wonder how the hotshot bankers can get out of bed in the morning. As Ferguson reminds us, “The justification for babying the banks, if there ever was one, is long gone. They’re brimming with cash, and it’s time they did their part to pick up the pieces from the havoc they wreaked.”

Former BofA CEO Ken Lewis: Still at large
  • Former BofA CEO Ken Lewis: Still at large

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