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Strange Loops in BofA Case

Merrill settlement over bonuses exposes contradictions in the way we regulate publicly traded companies.


Douglas Hofstadter, author of Bach, G�del and Escher and I am a Strange Loop, surely would enjoy the spectacle of a federal judge's rejection of the SEC's recent settlement with  Bank of America (BAC). The BofA case is rife with the recursive loopiness that has been the grist of Hofstadter's writings.

The case arises from BofA's acquisition of Merrill Lynch for $19 billion in January. BofA failed to inform its shareholders that Merrill Lynch might pay up to $5.8 billion in bonuses soon after shareholders voted on the deal. The SEC alleged that this omission violated the securities laws, and BofA agreed to pay a $33 million fine to settle the case.

Mercer Bullard does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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