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Bofa Keeps Countrywide Bankruptcy As Option

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-16/bofa-said-to-keep-bankruptcy-as-option-for-countrywide-unit.html

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the lender burdened by its Countrywide Financial Corp. takeover, would consider putting the unit into bankruptcy if litigation losses threaten to cripple the parent, said four people with knowledge of the firm’s strategy.

The option of seeking court protection exists because the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank maintained a separate legal identity for the subprime lender after the 2008 acquisition, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plans are private. A filing isn’t imminent and executives recognize the danger that it could backfire by casting doubt on the financial strength of the largest U.S. bank, the people said.

The threat of a Countrywide bankruptcy is a “nuclear” option that Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan could use as leverage against plaintiffs seeking refunds on bad mortgages, said analyst Mike Mayo of Credit Agricole Securities USA. Moynihan has booked at least $30 billion of costs for faulty home loans, most sold by Countrywide during the housing boom, and analysts estimate the total could double in coming years.

.......

What Could Go Wrong

Pitfalls include the possibility that a bankruptcy filing would cast doubt on the entire company’s willingness to support its other subsidiaries and damage Bank of America’s standing in the credit markets or with rating firms, hurting its ability to borrow, according to analysts.

“It’s not some sort of magic elixir that makes it all just go away,” Westbrook said. “I suspect that’s one reason they haven’t done it yet.”

.......

Bankruptcy would be a “last-ditch option,” and possibly a costly one, because counterparties might become hesitant to buy the parent company’s debt or open trading lines with its Merrill Lynch unit, David Hendler, a CreditSights Inc. analyst, said in a Sept. 8 note. Credit-rating firms could downgrade Bank of America subsidiaries, which benefit from the implicit support of their corporate parent, he said. That would drive up the bank’s cost of borrowing.

I wonder how long BoA can delay this option for? Countrywide clearly was a stupid purchase and is more than likely going to drag down the entire company.

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  • 334 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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