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Hold Big Banks Accountable

Bank Settlements: Judges Take A Stand, Shift Focus To Individual Responsibility Huffington Post | Adam J. Rose Jed Rakoff has been called many things: amaverick, a prosecutor, a hero, and acerbic. As a judge on cases involving high finance, his rulings have often been described as blunt and sometimes wry. When asked if he’s anti-Wall Street, he once suggested that some prosecutors fear he’s pro-Wall Street.

You can describe the U.S. District Judge many ways, but there’s one adjective that’s been taken off the table: alone.

Rakoff has garnered public attention in the past year for taking a stand against insufficient settlements between government prosecutors and Wall Street. It all started with a case against Bank of America for misleading shareholders about the 2008 purchase of Merrill Lynch. That was settled for $150 million after Rakoff initially refused to sign off on a $33 million deal. He did so begrudgingly, referring to the final offering as “half-baked justice.”

Now, two more judges have started to call out bank settlements that don’t appear to serve the public interest. They seem to share Rakoff’s sharp judgement — and tongue.


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