Monday, June 15, 2009

A Nation of Banks

Jonathan Weil, 27 April 2009, notes, "The spectacle of Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson running roughshod over Kenneth Lewis and his minions at Bank of America Corp. raises a pivotal question for all Americans: Is the US a nation of laws, or a nation of banks", link:


Anonymous said...

It didn’t matter that investors were buying and selling billions of the banks’ shares without a clue that Merrill had lost more than $12 billion during the fourth quarter.

Bernanke and Paulson had a singular objective -- to get the Merrill deal done, on time -- even if that meant duping the stock market and threatening to fire Lewis as chief executive officer, along with the company’s board.

The best that can be said about Bernanke and Paulson is that they believed the ends justified the means, and that preventing system-wide harm to the world’s financial markets took priority over strict adherence to the law. And yet, if you think they didn’t breach the public’s trust, ask yourself this:

Knowing what we know now, how could you ever trust anything Bernanke says again?

During his Feb. 26 sworn deposition, Lewis told lawyers for Cuomo’s office that “it wasn’t up to me,” to decide whether to disclose Merrill’s losses or Bank of America’s deal with the government. He said his decision not to disclose the information was based on direction from Paulson and Bernanke: “I was instructed that ‘We do not want a public disclosure.’”

Independent Accountant said...

See my 5 May 2009 post, "Ken Lewis, Whistleblower"?