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It didn’t come as a complete surprise to us, but federal district court judge Jed Rakoff’s fire-breathing rejection of Bank of America’s $33m (£20m) settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was a stunner. His anger at BoA and the SEC radiated off the page. They didn’t tell him what he wanted to know – namely, who was responsible for disclosure decisions about the $5.8bn (£3.5bn) approved for Merrill Lynch bonuses – and he wasn’t buying either sides’ arguments about why this settlement was reasonable.

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