Bank of America suit too little, too late
Shareholders get hit, and the bad guys get away.
- No one will be pursued personally, which is all we really care about, because it wasn't "systematic," it was right from the top. The buck didn't stop at the institution, it stopped at the people running the institution at the time. The only bills they will have to pay are the ones on their boat drink tab.
- The shareholders of Bank of America are the ones who are ultimately going to have to pay the legal tab and the settlement sum, because the feds are not going to shut down Bank of America. Nobody post Arthur Andersen gets shut down, as that cost too many jobs. Bank of America is on the too-big-to-fail list anyway.
- The housing market is coming back, the only thing stopping it from booming being the banks that are so far behind in legal paperwork and don't want to add new lending officers and back-office personnel until all of these legal bills are sorted.
- The decision by Justice to pursue Bank of America now for what its predecessor bank did years ago seems almost like desperation. It won't change any behavior that changed years ago.
- We never put in place a federal criminal mortgage task force to target the people who got us into this mess, and you can go back and read the headlines and sense the failure to supervise and perhaps the insistence that laws be broken to make quarters. We always hear that these cases are too hard to make. So then why do we even bother at all to sue the companies when the people who will pay are the hapless shareholders who did nothing?
But the only real major case I saw about mortgage fraud was a loss for the government, a complicated case about valuing securities owned by a fund and the managers who valued them that was brought in Brooklyn. That loss took the steam right out of the government and the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. Rather than assessing what went wrong in Brooklyn just decided to focus on other, less important issues.
So Bank of America will contest this case, as it does all of them. There will be many years of discovery, which will produce nothing other than what we already know happened, and in the end the government will announce a settlement with Bank of America for a huge amount that will go who knows where, and lots of money will be made by the lawyers who defend Bank of America, and it will cost some half penny a share, and the shareholders will pay the bill, and that's about it.
The failure of the governments at all levels to regulate this business now rivals the failure of the government and the banks to do their jobs in trying to clean up the mess. This lawsuit is still one step backward. Too little, too late, with not an ounce of justice coming from Justice. What an opportunity missed, what a barn door closing on the shareholders' faces after the bad guys got away.
Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust and has no positions in stocks mentioned.
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One question, Jim: Where do you go once you've screwed the whole world? Notably, those who will be tasked with fixing what took decades of Ivy League collusion to make, won't be wearing school colors or watching commercialized sports instead of doing their jobs.
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then with CLF at 44 a few days ago he said buy because it was up in a down market
today it gapped down 4.............PLEASE DON'T LISTEN TO ANYTHING THIS HACK SAYS
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If you have a mortgage with Chase and a line of credit with Bank of America, you cannot refinance with Chase because Bank of America will balk, saying they refuse to take a subordinate position. I could have saved $350 a month from an unsolicited refinance offer from Chase, but lost out because I also had an account with Bank of America who refused to go along
American economy. Put real hurt to the B***t**ds who did this.
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Which Romney will we see today on tv, the real one or the flip flopper ?????
For War against War, for women against women, for middleclass against middleclass, for coal against coal, for medical reform against medical reform.
A real shape shifter, a chameleon. America wake up to this guy he been an opportunist all his life !
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