And then decided that sticking with the “worst deal in the history of American finance,” which has cost it $40 billion in cleanup so far, made them at least look like responsible adults, facing the consequences of their actions, rather than deadbeats trying to take the easy way out.

Long before Sanford Weill suggested last week that big banks should split up, Bank of America executives and directors considered the idea and then decided against it, said people close to the nation’s second-biggest bank by assets…Chief Executive Brian Moynihan and his team looked at a possible bankruptcy of Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled mortgage operation it purchased in 2008. Management also studied whether it made sense to break off Merrill Lynch, the securities firm it purchased in 2009. Mr. Moynihan ultimately recommended to his board that neither action made sense. The company decided Merrill had become too big of a profit center and splitting it off could expose the brokerage firm to the sort of funding problems that killed off other Wall Street firms in 2008. Meanwhile, it felt bankruptcy of Countrywide might invite more legal and reputational troubles for Bank of America while exposing other subsidiaries to problems.

Bank Breakups, Not So Fast [WSJ]

34 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (34)

  1. Posted by Alt_EST | July 30, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce? What is that, like representatives from 450 different Dunkin' Donuts?

  2. Posted by PermaGuestII | July 30, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Boston's more relevant to BAC than Charlotte is, these days.

    -guy who finds it astonishing that NCNB… err, Bank of America… has not one but two "Chads" on its board

  3. Posted by Alpha_Bets | July 30, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    And a few Cumberland Farms.

  4. Posted by Zomboston Rob | July 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    And a few who eat brains.

  5. Posted by SellingLow | July 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Guarantee that half that Chamber of Commerce is nicknamed "Sully."

  6. Posted by Quincy | July 30, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    The half is named Patches.

  7. Posted by Fahk | July 30, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Waht the fahk is this fahk?

  8. Posted by UBS MD | July 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Tell us more about this "profit center" concept.

  9. Posted by investorcluzo | July 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    "might invite more legal and reputational troubles for Bank of America"
    -wait, reputation?

  10. Posted by PermaGuestII | July 30, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    It might damage their reputation for abject stupidity.

  11. Posted by Guest | July 30, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    re-kill yourself

  12. Posted by Texashedge | July 30, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    I like it how they italicized the "a" to reflect the pronunciation

  13. Posted by Guest | July 30, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Is that rumor about chicks in Boston still true?

  14. Posted by Honest Injun | July 30, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    That was unbelievably awful, yet slightly funny due to the sheer stupidity that went into crafting it. However, it needs more "quant" in the signature.

  15. Posted by Ron Blarney | July 30, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    What the huh? I don't get either comment.

  16. Posted by Honest Injun | July 30, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    See: Chick-Fill-A.

  17. Posted by Guest | July 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Angelo Mozilo needs to merge with Sanford Weill to create the most grossly discolored human being alive today.

  18. Posted by güest | July 30, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    This is so unfunny, it's gone past the "unfunniest thing in the universe" point of the scale and is fast approaching the "ironically funny" mark. I think we can start looking forward to the next wave of lame zomblols.

    – Not Zomguest

  19. Posted by Mighty Taco | July 30, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Moynihan looks like he spends a good portion of his day taking nervous dumps.

  20. Posted by Guest | July 30, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Ken Lewis was a hero standing up for the average joe by attaching the epic fail that was Countrywide to a series of other profitable businesses.

    -OWS who got a principal modification on a mortgage he never should have qualified for in the first place.

  21. Posted by The 1% | July 30, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Ken Lewis Sucks……….

  22. Posted by Guest | July 30, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    I have facial cream that will help both of them.

    -Michael Kevin Lallana

  23. Posted by TitleZ | July 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    It's one giant CF. Bailouts for creditors and bailouts for borrowers, both. Are there any good examples of true accountability in finance today?

  24. Posted by Guest | July 31, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Don't hate, given how BAC stock has performed he may be one of you now

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  32. Posted by 360 feedback tool | March 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    I think Bank of America should try to be cautious next time. They should not buy anything blindly with just partly chances of being a good deal for the future. These risks, if proven, can create a mega downfall to the economy of the United States. They should be a little more careful next time.

  33. Posted by Remodeling | March 28, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    I think Bank of America should take utmost care before investing on anything. Thanks for sharing this post

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