Category Archives: First Derivative Traders

Why aren’t these guys in jail??

Because it’s Bank of America, that’s why. Sure, BofA ratted out it’s own employees, but it appears said employees are not being charged with any crimes. From BLT:

Bank of America has agreed to pay $137.3 million to resolve allegations of bid rigging in the municipal bond industry, U.S. Justice Department officials said today.

The bank today entered a global agreement with 20 states and four federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission. DOJ officials said Bank of America employees conspired to rig bids in connection to the marketing and sale of tax-exempt municipal bond derivative contracts. SEC documents are here.

Under the Justice Department’s leniency program, the bank will not be prosecuted for the conduct as long as there is continued cooperation, Varney said.

Wait, the DOJ has a leniency program for corporate criminals? Bank of America screwed people in 20 states and all they get is a lousy fine? Holy Fuckamoly…the bullshit never stops when it comes to corporate, financial criminals….except for this case that is actually being heard by SCOTUS. From the Jurist link:

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Janus Capital Group v. First Derivative Traders, a securities fraud case. The question before the court is whether a service provider can be held primarily liable in a private securities fraud suit for aiding and participating in another company’s misstatements. Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act prohibits any manipulation or deception in connection with the purchase or sale of securities, but it is unclear whether the liability associated with the act extends to service providers that aided in the selling of securities where misinformation was involved. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned the district court decision and allowed a class action against the petitioner to proceed, holding that a service provider may be liable for securities fraud. There is currently a circuit split on this issue. 

Fraud is Fraud right? Stealing is Stealing, and a Derivative is a Derivative. Now, the only difference I can see is that BofA is too big to charge, whilst Janus is going after a derivative trader, which of course is a lot smaller fish in the big financial pond, all by their lonesome..without any help from the DOJ.

$137 million sounds like a big number, but when you consider BofA makes BILLIONS each quarter…it really ain’t shit.