Bank analyst Dick Bove is known for provocative statements, and today he all but suggests that Wall Street and the rest of the financial industry should pick up and move from New York City to Charlotte.
He cites the flood of investigations and lawsuits from New York attorneys general, from Spitzer to Cuomo to Schneiderman, the last of which today announced a new mortgage-backed securities suit against JPMorgan Chase.
Bove says that Michigan doesn't sue the auto industry, and Texas doesn't sue oil. So why should financial companies stay in New York? He says the reasoning is more tradition than reason.
"Management should consider the benefits of moving their headquarters elsewhere. Shareholders should not be forced to pay for continuous lawsuits because these banks are in New York," Bove writes. "If the industry was located in Charlotte, North Carolina it would not be facing constant hostility it would be supported by a government that wants its business."
It's funny, sort of, because Charlotte is already concerned about waning influence in the banking world. Wachovia, the nation's fourth-largest bank at the time, sold to Wells Fargo for a pittance as it neared collapse. And Bank of America could have moved its HQ to New York had it tapped Bank of New York Mellon's Bob Kelly instead of Brian Moynihan -- who spends most of his time in Boston and New York anyway.