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Rakoff Approves SEC-BofA Pact, Unhappily

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"A federal judge reluctantly approved a $150 million settlement Monday between Bank of America Corp. and the Securities & Exchange Commission over the bank's disclosures before its acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. last year," the WSJ reports.

The judge said: "If the court were deciding that question sole on the merits—de novo, as the lawyers say—the court would reject the settlement as inadequate and misguided. But as both parties never hesitate to remind the court, the law requires the court to give substantial deference to the SEC as a regulatory body having primary responsibility for policing the securities markets, especially with respect to matter of transparency."