Time to Fire Ken Lewis of Bank of America

Step right up to the bar here in Bailout Nation, 2009 version. Open 24 hours, we never close. No bailout too big, no investment/money pit too dumb. Yes folks, we can handle your bad assets, recapitalize your bank, no muss, no fuss. Yes, here in America, we cannot be bothered with things like plans and strategies and maximizing returns for taxpayers.That’s right, we avoid the planning, and pass the savings onto to you, the home viewer! Really, how the hell did we ever win WWII?



So the horrific deal Citibank cut with Treasury was a blueprint, an example for the next foolish investment — and here it is: Bank America, a supposed good bank, that couldn’t wait to get their hands on Merrill Lynch, now a bad bank.

And now that we all see what a terrible decision that was by supposedly sophisticated private sector players, well, then rather than take the hit, BoA has their grubby hands out begging for some taxpayer loot to paper over their idiotic decision-making. First they bought that giant manure pile CountryWide, and now they own another stinking pile of enzyme-free donkey-fazoo, Merrill Lynch.

I say, (frag) ‘em. Why do I have to pay for their bad judgment?

Enough already! Fire Ken Lewis, he’s a bum. He’s made several horrific acquisitions, and needs to serve up his head on a platter for his god-awful lack of judgment. Toss out the entire Board of Directors, too, as they all suck. They’ve bankrupted the company, its time they all need to go.

Making matters even worse, this shitpile has been building up since last month. The WSJ reports:

The U.S. government has agreed to commit billions in additional aid to Bank of America Corp. to help the nation’s largest bank by assets close its acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co., according to people familiar with the situation.  Discussions over these funds began in mid-December when Bank of America approached the Treasury Department. The bank, already the recipient of $25 billion in committed federal rescue funds, said that it was unlikely to complete its purchase of the ailing Wall Street securities firm because of Merrill’s larger-than-expected losses in the fourth quarter, according to a person familiar with the talks.

Hey Lewis, you bought it, its yours, leave us out of your mess!

Don’t look now, but here comes the year’s most overused phrase: systemic risk:

“Treasury, concerned the deal’s failure could affect the stability of U.S. financial markets, agreed to work with the Charlotte, N.C., lender on the “formulation of a plan” that includes new capital from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, according to the person familiar with the talks. The terms are still being finalized, this person said. Details are expected to be announced with Bank of America’s fourth-quarter earnings, due out Jan. 20.

Any possible arrangement might protect Bank of America from losses on Merrill’s bad assets. There would be a cap on the amount of losses the bank would have to absorb, with the federal government being on the hook for the remainder, said one person familiar with the matter.”

What a joke this has become. Are we supposed to be somehow comforted that the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., alongside the Treasury, are involved in the negotiations? They  do not seem to have clue.

Time for an orderly liquidation: Start with Citi, move on to BofA, fire the execs, toss the Board, spin out the assets to competent managers who now how to manage risk and avoid excess leverage.


Sources: Bank of America to Get Billions in U.S. Aid Deal Is Said to Be Reached on Fresh Bailout Cash; Lender Told Government It Needed Funds to Absorb Ailing Merrill Lynch DAN FITZPATRICK, DAMIAN PALETTA and SUSANNE CRAIG WSJ, JANUARY 15, 2009 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123197132814683053.html

Originally published at The Big Picture blog and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

19 Responses to "Time to Fire Ken Lewis of Bank of America"

  1. Anton   January 15, 2009 at 10:27 am

    This is terrible, the tax payers are getting completely ripped off on this deal. While Bank of America is busy acquiring new assets with tax payer money they are not helping any of their consumers.Customers of Bank of America should be very concerned as they are closing out average consumer accounts and destroying their credit scores.

  2. Guest   January 15, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I am a resident of New Jersey and Bank Of America has refused to lower my high interest mortgage loan by a few point in order to save my home. I did not request a restructuring of my principal, but solely a few point reduction of the high interest rate.It is my belief that Bank Of America prefers foreclosures rather than interested in creating a mutually beneficial WIN WIN outcome.

  3. Anonymous   January 15, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Had Dick Fuld figured this game last year, all he would have to have done was to borrow enough to buy BoA or Goldman and than ask for BailOut after.

  4. Guest   January 15, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Do you have the petition that want to fire Ken Lewis? People need to sign the petition to fire Ken Lewis. Can you?I agree with you. Ken Lewis must get out of Bank of America. Ken Lewis hurt many employee for cutting hours and become no salary! Ken Lewis must go.

    • Anonymous   January 16, 2009 at 11:04 pm

      As a Bank of America “associate” I could no agree more with this article. Ken Lewis and his cronies must be held accountable and fired. It was Ken’s JOB to know the asset quality of Merrill before the shareholder vote. Ken and his friends have flown Bank of America into the side of a mountain and have hurt untold numbers of shareholders, taxpayers, clients and employees in the process. If I had done my job as poorly as this, Ken would have had me fired in the wink of an eye. I would love to see a shareholder petition calling for his head.

  5. Guest   January 16, 2009 at 11:36 am

    What an egotistical, power crazed, greedy, selfish individual. Firing rank and file, outsourcing American jobs to India, dumping long term employees on the street without notice, refusing to cut his millions in pay and perks and the list goes on and on.He and his crony board need to hit the road.

    • Anonymous   January 24, 2009 at 10:40 am

      You are so right on, but Mr. Lewis and the board are all in bed together, so he will stay on and the American tax payers will continue to sacrifice.

  6. MLK   January 16, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Enough is enough. I believe Americans should start telling the FED, Treasury and FDIC to stop fooling the people with all the systemic necessary insane bailout.

  7. Lsomefun   January 18, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I thought this guys running BOfA were smart, I think my dog knows better Finance than they do, Bankers my foot!

  8. Guest   January 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    fire the imbecile, he poured good money into Merrill and see where it is. I am an ex-employee lost a bundle on stock.Jack Kshipra

  9. Back lasher   January 28, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Karma is finally catching up to this egotistical snot Lewis.As a former BoA employee, I saw his greed, incompetence, and inhumane treatment of his employees first hand.I know I’m speaking for thousands who loathe this idiot, when I say I’m going to enjoy watching this guy burn!

  10. Guest   January 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    POLL!Should Bank of America Oust CEO Ken Lewis?http://www.cnbc.com/id/28811993

  11. stan in las vegas nv   January 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    The stock price has gone from $40 to $20 to $10 and now it huvers around $6. I don’t know about you but isn’t this a good thing for shareholders. I mean it feels and looks great when you see your ceo buying shit companies and then coming out and saying ‘well when things return to “normal” things will be great.’ He flushed all the share holders down the toilet and he knew what he was doing. He fired Thain as his escape goat. If he had any intergrity he would ‘resign’ himself. The load of bullshit he gives off stinks to high heaven. “oh, i am sorry, we didn’t know how much exposure Merrill had to bad assets.” We just really liked their cool “Bull” symbol and thought it would be great to have for ourselves.” I hope you stock holders don’t mind being poor for the next 2 to ? years. Oh bye the way the company is bankrupt without government help but i am not suppose to tell you that. We cut the dividend from .32 cents/ share to .01 cents/ share because the govt told us we had to. Hey if you need a job though we probably will need some janitors here when things turn around. You know to clean up after me and empty my trash and other small tasks. Well, i’ve got to go now, i am having a hugh dinner for all my friends at one of New Yorks finest steak houses. Good Luck!”Common share holders be warned get out while you can.

  12. Guest   January 31, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    It is time to fire Ken Lewis.Please visit the website.http://www.seiu.org/change-that-works/bank-of-america/Thank you

  13. Guest   January 31, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    hello everyonehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8N7NBHQHW4&feature=channelThank you

  14. Gerry Waldron   March 20, 2009 at 11:26 am

    The B of A Board must fire Ken Lewis.10,000 people protested yesterday against the AIG bonuses. There, but for the grace of God, goes B of A.Gerry Waldron, B of A shareholder

  15. Cheryl   April 11, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Madoff is going to prison, what about Ken Lewis?? All BOA’s ALT-A fraud loans and sub-prime fraud loans which resulted in BOA customers losing $$$ through fraud. There is no difference between the 2 men.