GO
Loading...

Who's to Blame for the SEC-BofA Deal?

Wednesday, 16 Sep 2009 | 8:19 PM ET
Outrage of the Day
Cramer sounds off on the one thing that irked him in today's market action.

Cramer on Wednesday cheered a federal judge for breaking up a cushy deal between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bank of America. BofA had paid a mere $33 million fine for issuing $3.6 billion in undisclosed bonuses to executives at its newly acquired Merrill Lynch. In the end, though, shareholders had footed the bill, something both Cramer and Judge Jed Rakoff took issue with.

At the same time, Cramer jeered the jurist for blaming company lawyers for the entire mess. Finger pointing at the lawyers meant the government couldn’t find the scandal’s true bad actors. Instead Judge Jed Rakoff targeted Bank of America’s advisors, which Cramer called “beyond ridiculous.”

“Who the heck cares about the lawyers?” the Mad Money host asked. “They weren’t the decision makers. It’s the principals that did wrong, not their advisors.”

Who’s really at fault?

Maybe President Obama.

Cramer said the SEC’s measly offer was a “capricious decision to clear the dockets.” In the end, the government dropped the ball by not holding accountable Bank of America and Merrill. Despite Obama’s recent speech to Wall Street, during which he railed against outrageous bonuses and needless risk, his SEC is barely slapping guilty parties on the wrist.

We don’t need new regulations, Cramer said, just a government that will enforce the rules already on the books. That way the perpetrators are punished, and not the victims.

“Until the president and his SEC understand that,” Cramer said, “the bad guys will keep getting away scot-free.”

Cramer's charitable trust owns Bank of America.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website? madcap@cnbc.com

  Price   Change %Change
BAC
---

Contact Mad Money

  • Showtimes

    Monday - Friday 6p ET
  • Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

Mad Money Features

  • Grab the latest CNBC gear from the NBCUniversal Store!

  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Cramer formulates his investment advice. "Inside the Madness" is a column, which features e-mails and more with Cramer and his researcher Nicole Urken.

  • You’ve always wanted to hit the “Hallelujah!” button. Here’s your chance.