I’m sorry if I’m a little late today. I was in an all-morning meeting talking about how the economy is improving. But I didn’t want to let today go without bringing to your notice, if you haven’t seen them already, two of the most contrasting quotes I have ever seen appear in public on the same issue. One displays the righteous indignation of the public about the depredations of bonus-happy Finance, the other comes from the other side of that great divide.
Quote #1: ““The S.E.C. gets to claim that it is exposing wrongdoing on the part of the Bank of America in a high-profile merger… and the Bank’s management gets to claim that they have been coerced into an onerous settlement by overzealous regulators.” Judge Jed S. Rakoff, rejecting the SEC-BOA settlement on Merrill Lynch bonuses, which he said, “does not comport with the most elementary notions of justice and morality.”
Quote #2: “I’m having a difficult time understanding who was harmed here. Why is this company being put into court over a series of events that benefited the nation, its economy, its financial system, the shareholders of Bank of America and the bank itself.” Richard X. Bove, a banking analyst with Rochdale Securities, as quoted in the New York Times.
So it’s either a moral question that goes to the heart of our justice and financial systems… or it’s nothing at all. What do you think?