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The Only Things Standing Between Bank Of America And A $17 Billion Justice Department Fine Are Brian Moynihan’s Negotiating Skills, Latent CharismaBy Bess Levin
Representatives of Bank of America Corp have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to meet with Moynihan, its chief executive officer, in an attempt to resolve differences over a possible multibillion-dollar settlement involving shoddy mortgage securities sold by the second-largest U.S. bank and its units, according to people familiar with the negotiations. Negotiators for Bank of America and the Justice Department have not met in more than a week and have no plans to do so after a flurry of meetings did not bring them close to a settlement amount, sources said…The Department of Justice has not yet responded to Bank of America about the possibility of the meeting, sources said. The bank requested the meeting late last week, the people said…
Sources said the Justice Department’s silence about a meeting between Moynihan and Holder suggested Bank of America’s request was premature. Bank of America has discussed paying about $12 billion, including more than $5 billion to help struggling homeowners, to resolve a range of federal and state probes, primarily into whether the company and its units defrauded mortgage bond investors in the run-up to the financial crisis, people familiar with the matter said. The Justice Department suggested a $17 billion settlement in the latest round of negotiations and did not view Bank of America’s offer as a serious one, one source said last week.