Bove wants the world to stop bullying Bank of America.
Not only no one has been harmed by the Merrill merger, Bove argues, many have benefitted from it. And if you continue bashing Bank of America, all it will lead to is it being forced to divest from Merrill.
In a report released today, Dick Bove takes aim at everyone who’s taking aim at the bank.He says that the bank ‘s legal entanglements are “distracting management and costing shareholders money.”
He addresses the SEC first. Basically, he says the SEC requested that BofA pay a fine because of those bonuses paid to Merrill employees. Now that judge is reviewing that fine, the SEC should just drop the case altgoether because “simply asking the company to pay a fine would not right the wrongs being agued against this company.”
Then Bove takes on Cuomo, accusing the attorney generals of going after his own constituents.
“To my knowledge, the attorney general in Michigan does not bring charges against the automotive industry. Texas is not attacking the oil industry and Florida is not suing the tourist industry,” Bove writes.
And New York State too should drop its complaints against Wall Street. Bove writes the state government is “unique in believing that its citizens should be penalised for being successful.” Why would a strapped state government object that “a bunch of New Yorkers were paid hefty bonuses?” Is it trying to reduce its own tax base?
[Editor’s note: the is the first time we’ve ever seen someone actually argue for regulatory capture by a locally dominant industry. So points to Bove for originality.]
Finally he takes on the media. Bove says the media is going to overwhelm us with endless Lehman anniversary stories, which will all pretty much say that the government shouldn’t have let it fail. Well, can you imagine if Merrill went down as well? So the media too, should be celebrating the merger.
[Editor’s note: We must get a special exemption from this since we don’t think letting Lehman fail was a disaster.]
“There is very little question that the country, its economy, and the financial system are better off because Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch,” Bove concludes.
So, the question is, are you persuaded?