When Ken Lewis first announced he was retiring from Bank of America last fall, Rochedale Securities analyst Dick Bové absolutely lost her shit. She knew there was nothing voluntary about this forced retirement, and that her man was being cut down in his prime. Her friends told her not to get involved, that it would emasculate Ken and just make things worse, but she couldn’t help it– she couldn’t even see straight she was so mad! I mean, really! The “success” of Bank of America was “due to the brilliance of Ken Lewis as a visionary and tactician.” And now they were going to push him out?? The guy who “no other banker in this country can equal in achievements but wishes s/he could”?? I’m sorry, no, she did not accept that.
She couldn’t talk to Ken about it, obviously, as it would just upset him, so after he passed out one night, she sneaked into the other room where he couldn’t hear her and called every single member of the board, begging them to not make this mistake. She pulled out all the stops, and even offered HJ’s to anyone who would help, but nobody would budge. That’s when she really freaked out. She momentarily considered driving over to their homes in the middle of the night to make a scene on their front lawns, where she would park her Chevelle. “Let them call the cops!” she said to herself, biting pieces of her hair, which she does when she’s really in a tizzy. But even in her rage she realized that was not the wisest course of action, if history is any guide (the last time she pulled that stunt it did not end well). Oh, but she was not going to let those “fucking pigs” get away with this. So took a deep breathe, splashed some cold water on her face and sat down to give everyone one a piece of her mind, in a report entitled, “Bank of America Should Beg Ken Lewis To Stay.” The thing got a little traction, in that anyone even vaguely interested in taking over for KL suddenly backed out, out of fear that this crazy lady was going to make good on her threats to “make the life of Ken’s replacement a living hell,” though tragically, as you know, they finally found someone to take the job. While in theory Bové accepted that Brian Moynihan was the new CEO, she made no bones about the fact that she didn’t like it. On his first day on the job, she keyed the words ‘You suck’ into his car, and she worked diligently to uncover any dirt she could on the guy that could potentially get him fired. She would send him 3AM emails from anonymous addresses that weren’t fooling anyone, telling BriMoy “You’ll do it like Ken did. Never!”
Eventually though, something strange occurred, and the analyst started to change her tune on the guy. No one really knows when it happened, or why (theories include her resentment over Ken refusing to get a new job, and only leaving the couch to grab another beer, the realization of common interests, and so on and so forth) but somewhere along the line…Dick started to like what she saw. And now? This:
“He’s really come out strong,” says analyst Richard Bove, who covers banks at Rochdale Securities. I was not a fan at first, but I have become one.”
Now Ken’s home watching the clock and Bové is out scrambling to find the perfect dress for BAC’s next earnings call, one that shows off her tits but doesn’t make her intentions look too obvious. FYI, this is how it starts.