Jed Rakoff, iconoclastic littérateur

By Felix Salmon
February 22, 2010
Paul Krugman profile in the New Yorker? If you haven't finished it yet, I strongly suggest you give up -- you're not going to learn much, beyond the names of his cats -- and go read Jed Rakoff's ruling in SEC vs Bank of America instead. It's much more trenchant, much better written, and much more interesting.

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Are you still working your way through that 10,600-word Paul Krugman profile in the New Yorker? If you haven’t finished it yet, I strongly suggest you give up — you’re not going to learn much, beyond the names of his cats — and go read Jed Rakoff’s ruling in SEC vs Bank of America instead. It’s much more trenchant, much better written, and much more interesting.

Jonathan Stempel has a few of the Rakoff zingers, including the bit where he calls his acceptance of the SEC deal “half-baked justice at best”, but there’s much more where that came from: I’m particularly fond of the bit where he says that “the relevant decision-makers… appear never to have considered at all the impact that the accelerated payment of over $3.6 billion in bonuses might have on a company that was verging on financial ruin”. And the very end, where “this court, while shaking its head, grants the SEC’s motion”.

But it really is worth reading the whole thing, especially in the light of Rakoff’s ruling against JP Morgan in the Cablevision case, and the fact that Rakoff seems ill-disposed towards the SEC in the Galleon case as well. This crisis has thrown up very few heroes; Rakoff is one of them. Long may he continue to assail both America’s largest banks and the regulators who are captured by them.

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One comment so far

Let’s see, no claw back of the bonuses, no penalties for the wrongdoers, and the fine to be paid by the victims. How does this qualify as justice, in any way shape or form?

Posted by dlr | Report as abusive
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