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.
More from TheStreet.com
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.
I assume the opinion of ANY talking head on TV who makes a good salary is biased, most likely towards the Republicans because they say they will tax them less. They end up voting for SOMEBODY, right? I'd bet 80% of those who make more than 300k a year vote GOP. I extrapolate that to talking heads on TV as well .I bet 80% vote GOP, even the dudes on MSNBC. Make that 95% for CNBC and Fox
He who bests or equals the iPad will get filthy rich. Who will it be?
I will give Jim credit for promoting Apple big time when it was at an all time high of 200 and many thought it had peaked. You could have tripled your money quite quickly
this clown said sell CLF at 32........that very day CLF went up 5
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
The drops this week were mere overreaction to rosy earnings expectations that inevitably fell short. GREAT bargains to be had when that happens
Let's see now, TARP sure as hell wasn't Communism or Socialism because private enterprise benefited from tax dollars. And it sure as hell wasn't Capitalism because public funds were used instead of private ones to fund the banks. I guess that only leaves on "ism" left, huh
Did not TARP save the banks from being nationalized? Or do we wish to rewrite history. So why do you that love the Capitalist system bad mouth it. It worked GREAT and even made a profit for Uncle Sam. We would have Socialism in the US today without TARP. So WHY NOT repeat as necessary. You tell me
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.
Reg;s are working so don't let Romney undo them and let wild west come back.....
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 !
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
All hail the bull market, which ended the week with a big rally. But it also is starting to look a little like 1987, which suffered an epic blow-out.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.