Thank God for Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan. If you’re a court junkie, or have the misfortune (as some of us poor reporters do) of being forced professionally to spend a lot of time reading legal documents, the just-released Moynihan deposition in MBIA v. Bank of America, Countrywide, and a Buttload of Other Shameless Mortgage Fraudsters will go down as one of the great Nixonian-stonewalling efforts ever, and one of the more entertaining reads of the year.

In this long-awaited interrogation – Bank of America has been fighting to keep Moynihan from being deposed in this case for some time – Moynihan does a full Star Trek special, boldly going where no deponent has ever gone before, breaking out the “I don’t recall” line more often and perhaps more ridiculously than was previously thought possible. Moynihan seems to remember his own name, and perhaps his current job title, but beyond that, he’ll have to get back to you.

The MBIA v. Bank of America case is one of the bigger and weightier lawsuits hovering over the financial world. Prior to the crash, MBIA was, along with a company called Ambac, one of the two largest and most reputable names in what’s called the “monoline” insurance business.

The monolines sell a kind of investment insurance – if you invest in a municipal bond or in mortgage-backed securities backed or “wrapped” by a monoline, you have backing in case the investment goes south. If a municipality defaults on its bond payments, or homeowners in a mortgage-backed security default on their mortgage payments, the investors in those instruments can collect from the monoline insurer.

When companies like Countrywide issued their giant piles of crappy subprime mortgages and then chopped them up and turned them into AAA-rated securities to sell to suckers around the world, they often had these mortgage-backed securities insured by companies like MBIA or Ambac, to make their customers feel doubly safe about investing in their product.

The pitch firms like Countrywide made went like this: not only are these mortgages triple-A rated by reputable ratings agencies like Moody’s, they’re fully insured by similarly reputable insurance companies like MBIA. You can’t lose!…

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