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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

SEC seeking more charges against Bank of America over Merrill deal

The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking additional charges against Bank of America over its looking-worse-by-the-moment purchase of brokerage Merrill Lynch early last year.

These additional charges stem from Bank of America's failure to disclose billions of dollars in mounting losses at Merrill before BofA shareholders were asked to vote on the merger.

The SEC sued BofA last year over $3 billion in bonuses paid to Merrill employees. The two sides reached a settlement, but U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff refused to accept it and set a trial date for that matter.

In a Dec. 31 letter, the SEC asked the judge to piggyback new charges on top of that action.

BofA bought Merrill in a shotgun wedding, with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson holding the 12-gauge, former BofA chief executive Ken Lewis has maintained. As Merrill's losses became more evident in late 2008, as the deal neared consummation, Lewis considered backing out, but said he was pressured by Bernanke and Paulson to keep Merrill, for fear of another economy-killing Lehman-like collapse.

BofA's non-disclosure of the mounting losses at Merrill prior to the shareholder vote on the deal has cast a shadow on the merger. Lewis maintains he followed all SEC rules for disclosure.

In a statement released Monday, BofA said: "We are disappointed that more than two months after the court-imposed deadline to amend its complaint and in the absence of any new information, the SEC now at the 11th hour is nevertheless trying to add new charges. With a trial set to begin in approximately six weeks, this would materially hinder our ability to mount a defense."

You can read the SEC's entire statement by clicking here.

The BofA-Merrill merger is working hard to replace the AOL-Time Warner deal as the worst of the first decade of the 21st century.

-- Frank Ahrens
Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 11, 2010; 4:32 PM ET
Categories:  Bailout , Fed Reserve , Regulation , The Ticker , Wall Street  | Tags: Bank of America, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Merrill Lynch  
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Our goverment is corrupt to the very core.

Posted by: scon101 | January 11, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

to see the forest instead of the trees, distance is required

so here is a view of depression obama from the brits


here today from the British Daily Telegraph
describing Depression Obama in America:

"The labour force contracted by 661,000. This did not show up in the headline jobless rate because so many Americans dropped out of the system. The broad U6 category of unemployment rose to 17.3pc. That is the one that matters.

Wall Street rallied. Bulls hope that weak jobs data will postpone monetary tightening: a silver lining in every catastrophe, or perhaps a further exhibit of market infantilism.

US benefit claims hit 26-year peak
US unemployment hits 26-year peakThe home foreclosure guillotine usually drops a year or so after people lose their job, and exhaust their savings.

The local sheriff will escort them out of the door, often with some sympathy –– just like the police in 1932, mostly Irish Catholics who tithed 1pc of their pay for soup kitchens.

Realtytrac says defaults and repossessions have been running at over 300,000 a month since February.

One million American families lost their homes in the fourth quarter.

Moody's expects another 2.4m homes to go this year.

Taken together, this looks awfully like Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath."


Depression Obama--why YOU may lose YOUR job

Posted by: ProCounsel | January 11, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Corruption at it's finest. If the two sides reached a deal how is it possible for the judge to say no. On top of that how do you piggy back charges. Oh yes, under Obama the law apparently means nothing. It's all about revenge. What a wonderful direction we've headed in.

Posted by: askgees | January 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

It should be our good public servants Msrs. Geither and Bernanke who face the prospect of incarceration...

Posted by: wcmillionairre | January 11, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to disappoint you askgees. The deal for the merger was inked on September 15, 2008, almost two months before the 2008 election. Sorry, you have to hang this one on your buddy GWB's watch.

And Mr. Procounsel. Here's what Wikipedia says about the Telgraph newspaper ...

The Daily Telegraph has been politically conservative in modern times.[24] The personal links between the paper's editors and the leadership of the Conservative Party, along with the paper's influence over Conservative activists, has resulted in the paper commonly being referred to, especially in Private Eye, as the Torygraph.

Kind of like sayings that Fox Noise is a credible, "fair and balanced" news source. Yeah, right.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | January 11, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Just now reporting about this? Nothing like being on top of things WaPo.

Posted by: mdsinc | January 11, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

ProCounsel what are you complaining about..
You get paid by the RNC to post here..


Despite all your efforts to screw our country.
You will end up screwing youselfs.

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | January 11, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

A Repost.

Greed is good and liars can look like Winners
All aboard the Midnight Meat Train. Ten feet long and seventy pounds. Fifteen meals and fifteen dollars all on board the Midnight Meat Train.
One, two, three, four, see what lying on the floor. I'm talk-en about the Midnight Meat Train. It's waiting for you.
Reptilian minds and insect politics, the banker’s glee as he smacks his forked tongue on his contorted lips. We got-tum good, watch-um squirm. Drive those catheters deep and drain them all dry. Your credit is great, payment's never late, so it’s time to increase your interest rate. A joke you say, we have the last laugh. Welcome to the Midnight Meat Train. We’ve got you now, you’ll never escape. Chained to the Midnight Meat Train.
It's primeval time Big-B says as he slithers down the boulevard wearing his gucci shoes and his sardonic little smirk. Why we even eat our own children he says with a burp. Wall Street Bankers rule. When are you going to realize we own it all, you fool. Busy trying to be or busy trying to hide? Give us some make-up and a million dollar suit, but you know you’re just to irrelevant and irreverent when you’re looking that cute. It’s all good now. What a hoot! Ignorance is bliss until the fingers on you. Just give it up and come on board the Midnight Meat Train. Five, six, seven, eight, we even get a commission when you pass through the Pearly Gate.
All aboard the Midnight Meat Train.

Posted by: morphylius | January 11, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

to the commenter at 5:14 pm Monday who said our government is "corrupt to the core": how about B of A is corrupt to the poor.

B of A and Citi are too big to fail, so let them fail in pieces and prosecute their executives for all self-dealing, lying to feds, and screwing customers. Giannini is turning high-speed in his grave over B of A.

Posted by: axolotl | January 11, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

to the commenter at 5:14 pm Monday who said our government is "corrupt to the core": how about B of A is corrupt to the poor.

B of A and Citi are too big to fail, so let them fail in pieces and prosecute their executives for all self-dealing, lying to feds, and screwing customers. Giannini is turning high-speed in his grave over B of A.

Posted by: axolotl | January 11, 2010 7:51 PM

I agree 100% and after they get done prosecuting the execs then go after all the pol's on both sides of the aisle who sold their souls to the to big to fail banks

Posted by: scon101 | January 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, I do think that it is so wonderful that the corrupt SEC is seeking more charges against Bank of America. However, perhaps it would be good to seek charges against the criminals within their own department. And, perhaps when they were done with that they would finally go after Bill Frist.
Oh, that's right all that is too late for we are now in the Third Secret of Fatima time.
Karen Marie Romero

Posted by: karenmarieromero | January 12, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

When will they be interviewing the key executives of Fannie and Freddie? The gross trashing of their respective charters is a big reason for the housing mess we find ourselves in today. Others should answer to their stockholders but Fannie and Freddie .. they owe citizens an answer and some personal accountability.

Posted by: tslats | January 12, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

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