Wall Street

We found a banking analyst who thinks Preet Bharara 'should be hung by his heels'

No surprise Trump would want Bharara out: Pro

Not everyone in the financial world is all broken up over President Donald Trump forcing former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara out of office.

Since Trump fired him over the weekend, Bharara, who ran the Southern District office in New York, has been lionized for his efforts to clean up Wall Street after the financial crisis. Businessman Ken Langone, hardly a Wall Street hater, told CNBC on Monday that Bharara's next stop should be to run for governor or mayor.

That's not how widely followed banking analyst Dick Bove feels — not by a long shot.

Instead, Bove sees Bharara as part of a cabal that unfairly bullied banks into paying large settlements or face criminal prosecution. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday told Bharara and 45 other holdover U.S. attorneys to resign.

That change in personnel, Bove said, will be welcome.

U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

"Getting rid of these guys is fabulous for banking, but it's also good for the American way of justice," said Bove, vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets. "What we saw in the last four years, I think it's an outrage against the justice system that supposedly exists in this country."

Bharara declined to comment on Bove's statements.

Bove has long been a defender of big banks, and he believes the process used against them was unfair in that they were strong-armed into taking settlement deals by a government bent on punishing the industry.

A long list of convictions — but maybe not long enough

"Preet Bharara in my view should be hung by his heels. That guy was an expert in doing this type of thing," Bove said, later adding that "this great guy deserves to be kicked in the a-- and removed."

For his part, Bharara earned a reputation going after some big names on Wall Street, particularly for insider trading. His highest-profile scores included hedge funder Steven Cohen, New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Raj Rajaratnam of Galleon Group, whose prison sentence set a record for insider trading.

In all, Bharara charged 111 individuals with insider trading, scoring convictions against 89, with one acquittal, two convictions vacated and 10 dismissed, according to a CNBC tally.

Bharara also initiated a still-ongoing investigation into the fundraising practices of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a liberal Democrat.

Preet Bharara's tough record on Wall Street

Bharara was not without critics, though, who said that for all the glitzy cases, none involved C-suite bankers on Wall Street.

Political commentator, author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza ripped Bharara on social media Monday. Bharara had prosecuted D'Souza in 2014 for making campaign contributions that exceeded legal limits.

D'Souza tweet: Thugs are scary but thugs with badges & "prosecutorial discretion" are much, much scarier

Bove's criticism came from the other side, namely that Bharara pushed too hard and impeded an industry the U.S. economy needs to survive.

"This is a type of McCarthyism that we're using, if you assume that McCarthyism is gathering a consensus of the American people that some segment has done harm to the country," he said. "Once you've got that consensus, you're free to attack the group that you've isolated. That's exactly what happened here."

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