Commentaries

Rights and wrongs at Lloyds Banking

November 25, 2009

If you’ve ever wondered how the big-shot investment bankers “earn” their bonuses, the document launching Britain’s biggest rights issue will give you a clue. Lloyds Banking Group is issuing 36,505,088,579 new shares, to add to the 27,161,682,366 currently in issue.

Bye bye Mack

September 10, 2009

John Mack is making way for a changing of the guard at Morgan Stanley.

The Wall Street firm says Mack is stepping aside as CEO at year’s end to make way for James Gorman, long seen by many on Wall Street as Mack’s heir apparent.

from Rolfe Winkler:

SEC should get tougher with BofA

August 11, 2009

In the Bank of America Merrill Lynch bonus imbroglio, the SEC has proposed a settlement in which, once again, the defendants neither admit nor deny wrongdoing.

The SEC is still lame

August 11, 2009

Don’t believe the hype about the new sense of “urgency” at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Judge Rakoff wants facts! Notes from yesterday’s hearing

August 11, 2009

Hopped over to courtroom 14-B at 500 Pearl Street yesterday afternoon where I saw Judge Jed Rakoff hammer SEC and Bank of America lawyers over the proposed settlement regarding Merrill Lynch bonuses.

Judge Rakoff’s People’s Court

August 10, 2009

Judge Jed Rakoff’s courtroom at the federal district court in Manhattan will turn into a people’s court of sorts as he looks to get to the bottom of the paltry $33 million Bank of America settlement with the SEC, which was looking into whether the bank misled shareholders about bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch employees.

Time for BofA to come clean

August 6, 2009

It may be outrage fatigue, but it is surprising that there has not been more of a public outcry over whether Bank of America misled investors about its acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

Come on Massey: man or mouse?

August 4, 2009

Bank of America’s settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission sheds some light on the shambolic merger agreement the bank struck with Merrill Lynch last autumn, and how it neglected to inform its own investors of the monster bonuses it then allowed Merrill to carry off.

John Thain was right

August 3, 2009

John Thain has been pilloried for the billions of dollars in bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch employees despite the firm’s $27.6 billion loss for 2008. He has taken the brunt of the criticism because Bank of America has said that the decision to pay $3.6 billion in Merrill bonuses before the end of the year, before the deal closed, was solely Thain’s. The former Merrill CEO has protested, telling the Wall Street Journal in April that “the suggestion Bank of America was not heavily involved in this process, and that I alone made these decisions, is simply not true.”

Apocalypse Then

July 16, 2009

How bad was the financial crisis in the bleak depths of September?

At today’s House Oversight subcommittee hearing on the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch merger, Representative Paul Kanjorski, the Pennsylvania Democrat, tried to coax Hank Paulson, the former Treasury secretary, to describe the potential doom and gloom policy makers were contemplating as the TARP proposal was being drafted.