August 22, 2014

What a waste of a good $17bn fine. Oh, if only it had been collected in voting shares of BofA.

Sir, Kara Scanell and Camilla Hall report that “BofA settles for record $17bn claim” August 22, and I cannot but reflect on what a waste of a good fine that is.

The fine is to be paid by BofA in cash and in consumer relief, all payments of course going against BofA’s capital account… in these days bank capital is already so scarce because bank regulators allowed it to become so scarce.

If we multiply be the 20 times leverage implied by the 5% leverage ratio US regulators have announced, those $17bn as capital could have supported $340bn in loans. Oh if only that fine had been collected in voting shares of BofA at current market valuations.

PS. FT reporters... dare to ask The Question!