May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp., the second- biggest U.S. bank, said it may not guarantee $38.1 billion of Countrywide Financial Corp.'s debt after taking over the mortgage lender, increasing the likelihood of a default.
``There is no assurance that any such debt would be redeemed, assumed or guaranteed,'' the bank said in an April 30 regulatory filing, adding that no decision has been reached. Investors had grown more optimistic the bank would back Countrywide debt, and Standard & Poor's said this week it may raise Countrywide's rating to match Bank of America's.
``This confirms how tenuous this transaction is,'' said Christopher Whalen, managing director at Institutional Risk Analytics, a banking research firm in Torrance, California.
Whalen expects Bank of America to absorb the best assets, including Countrywide Bank, while the debt remains with a new company created by the merger, Red Oak Merger Corp. Red Oak may then file for bankruptcy, shielding Bank of America from liability, Whalen said.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Sounds like BoA is planning to take over all the good stuff and abandon the bad stuff. How they can legally do this is a bit of a mystery to me, but there you go.
by Atrios at 15:18