The best news I heard all day was that a judge in lower Manhatten rejected the $33 million settlement between the SEC and Bank of America, over the bank's failure to fully disclose the bonuses paid at Merrill Lynch. The judge wrote that the settlement “does not comport with the most elementary notions of justice and morality”.
The judge would have no truck with the fact that that hefty fine would be paid by the bank’s shareholders, when they were the ones who were supposed to have been injured by the lack of disclosure.
“It is quite something else for the very management that is accused of having lied to its shareholders to determine how much of those victims’ money should be used to make the case against the management go away,” the judge wrote.
The judge was also none too happy with the SEC for agreeing to the settlement. Last month he had ordered the SEC to explain why it hadn't pursued charges against specific executives at Bank of America over the accusations. Apparently he wasn't satisfied. Rakoff, you rock!
Maybe the sweetest part of Judge Jed Rakoff's ruling was when he quoted Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan” at the end of his ruling: "A cynic is someone “who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”