We haven't commented extensively on the recently announced Bank of America $8.5 billion RMBS "non-settlement" settlement because frankly, it is a total travesty, ripe with so many conflicts of interest, it has no chance in hell of being final, and will likely see numerous revisions before it is complete, in the process costing BAC many more billions in legal fees and charge offs. We also expected that it was only a matter of time before politicians swarmed like a flock of crows on this rotting carcass of a deal, which will only make the life of BAC worse (we did share our amazement that BofA's stock rose on the news). Sure enough, here comes the first Congressman to contest that the proposed settlement is not an "arm's length transaction." And while our opinion of politicians is well-known, Miller's conclusion is spot on: "it is important that the American people know that their government is acting on their behalf, not on behalf of powerful financial institutions. It is important that the public and Congress be able to assess whether the enterprises settled claims that would limit taxpayer losses on a tough, arm's length basis, rather than providing another indirect subsidy to the banking industry." Alas, nobody even remotely believes that the government represents anything but the interests of the banks. But a bold effort. One thing is certain: the final BAC settlement, if one even comes to fruition, will not be $8.5 billion.
Full letter from Brad Miller to the FHFA's DeMarco:
h/t Manal Mehta