Washington, D.C., August 6, 2014 – Dennis Kelleher, the President and CEO of Better Markets, issued the following statement on the media reports that the U.S. Department of Justice and Bank of America have come to a settlement deal over the bank’s illegal conduct inflating the subprime lending bubble and contributing to the financial crash in 2008.
“The DOJ can be counted on to brag that the settlement dollar amount with Bank of America sets yet another record and claim, again, that this shows DOJ is tough on Wall Street. But, unlike other recent settlements, will DOJ provide the public with the key information on investor losses, Bank of America profits, the names of involved executives, specific laws broken and the actual systemic illegal schemes and activities? In short, is DOJ willing to actually inform the American people about such important and grave matters?
“For example, did Bank of America’s clients, customers and investors lose $50 billion or $250 billion? Did Bank of America obtain $25 billion or $300 billion in illegal profits? Were senior executives who are still at the bank involved in any of the illegal activities?
“If this information is not publicly disclosed, then the settlement amount, whether it sets a record or not, is meaningless and once again no one will be able to evaluate the Wall Street bank’s conduct or if the supposed ‘punishment’ is appropriate for the crime. It will also, conveniently, prevent the public from evaluating DOJ’s conduct and claims. It will again result in no accountability on Wall Street or at DOJ.
“It is particularly important that these details be disclosed in any settlement involving the Bank of America, which was at the epicenter of the 2008 crash and crisis, receiving tens of billions of dollars in bailouts and other support. Having paid the bailout bill and suffered greatly from the economic crisis, the American people deserve to know what Bank of America did and who did it when it broke the law, crashed the financial system and contributed to the worst economy since the Great Depression. And, they deserve to know enough to evaluate what their government, the DOJ, did in settling the case.”