Now I am not making wild assertions like some knee-jerk, attention-getting radical. I am, among many other things, a career corporate and securities lawyer who knows a patent criminal securities law violation when he sees one. Caroline Baum, who is one of most forthright commentators on Bloomberg.com, a respected financial reporter, reports as follows:
Of course not, not in those terms. Lewis surely never asked Bernanke directly if Bernanke wanted him to conceal the truth from his shareholders and the Fed never directly advised him. But the deal was clear. Hey, folks, put it to a jury in a shareholders' suit and let's see what the people say to the nefarious activities of the Princeton and Goldman pukes. (I'm sorry, but do I sound extremely disgusted?)
The latest example of what happens when the business of government is business was last week’s release of testimony from Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. In it, Lewis says he was strong-armed by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to seal the deal to buy Merrill Lynch without telling his shareholders about the brokerage’s mounting fourth-quarter losses, which came to $15.4 billion.
According to the letter Cuomo sent to Congress and regulators, Lewis wanted to invoke the “material adverse event” clause to back out of the merger, but the bazooka-toting Paulson told him to stay mum and threatened to give him and his board the boot.
Paulson said via a statement that while the words were his, the sentiment was “what he knew to be the Fed’s strong opposition to Bank of America” backing out of the deal.
“No one at the Federal Reserve advised Ken Lewis or Bank of America on any questions of disclosure,” said Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith.
It has never been part of our system of justice that any man is above the law, and that includes Treasury Secretaries, Federal Reserve Chairmen and Presidents. According to Bank of America Chairman Lewis in sworn testimony, Paulson and Bernanke solicited him to violate the securities laws by concealing material information from the bank's shareholders and the securities-buying public. He complied. In legal terms that is aiding and abetting and conspiracy to violate the securities laws of the United States. Forget their official positions or national emergencies or crises; they are not legally relevant. Ask any Bank of America shareholder who held or bought shares during the period and they will confirm that they expected to be informed.
Here is what Mike Shedlock has to say http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/let-criminal-indictments-begin-paulson.html
If Beranke and Paulson -- and for that matter all of the others who ran roughshod over the law to save their bretheren from self-induced financial ruin with government power -- succeed in ducking culpability for their crimes, the politicization of justice in the United States will mark the end of the 200-year American experiment in popular government based on individual rights.
While they may not view themselves as such, these two guys (and others) are criminals who should be accorded the same status in society as child molesters, robbers and rapists who prey upon the innocent and unsuspecting.
If they disagree, they should sue me for libel. Let's go to the mat and see who an American jury will accord the most credibility.