A court ruling the Merrill Lynch folks won’t like:
A New York state judge ruled Wednesday afternoon that New York’s attorney general could disclose the names of executives at Merrill Lynch who received 2008 bonuses ahead of Bank of America’s acquisition of the brokerage firm, rejecting arguments that the information was a trade secret.***
Mr. Cuomo praised the ruling. “Today’s decision in the Bank of America case is a victory for taxpayers,” he said in a statement. “Let the sun shine in. Justice Fried’s decision will now lift the shroud of secrecy surrounding the $3.6 billion in premature bonuses Merrill Lynch rushed out in early December. Taxpayers demand and deserve transparency and now they will finally get it.”
Merrill employees were collectively given billions of dollars in bonuses shortly before its sale to Bank of America closed. Around the same time, Bank of America learned that Merrill’s fourth-quarter loss would be much larger than expected, and the shortfall forced Bank of America’s to go to the government to seek more financial aid.
We’ll see how that plays out.