The BofA-SEC Settlement Gets a Grudging OK in Court


A U.S. District Court judge on Monday approved the Security and Exchange Commission's proposed $150 million settlement with Bank of America (BAC) stemming from charges that the company failed to disclose employee bonuses and financial losses at Merrill Lynch before the two firms merged in December 2008. The judge, however, scolded the SEC, criticizing its settlement offer as "half-baked justice at best." He also ordered that settlement money in the case should go to BofA's legacy shareholders -- those who owned stock prior to the merger -- reasoning that they were most harmed.