SEC faces trouble with B of A settlement

The federal judge who was supposed to approve a $33 million settlement between Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and the SEC over omissions in the bank's proxy statement for approving the Merrill Lynch deal is unhappy.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff has ordered the SEC to explain why it did not push its investigation into the charge that B of A made inaccurate statements in the document. Put less politely, he wants to know why the bank would lie to its shareholders. B of A did not disclose the timing of bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch employees. The compensation totaled $5.8 billion.