Earlier this week, we learned that Bank of America has a number of very unhappy ex-Merrill Lynch brokers on it hands. Their beef? New business cards that feature a slightly smaller bull than in times past, an obvious affront, as they see it, to the Merrill brand. While no formal demands have been made, it’s clear that in order to be made happy, the former Mother Merrill employees will need to see the bull reinstated to its former size and glory. And, sure, an apology from Bank of America brass for the lack of respect would be nice. At this time, CEO Brian Moynihan is yet to make a formal statement regarding the redesigned cards, but rank-and-file BofA-ers, at least those with access to MS Paint, have sent a message that they are less than sympathetic. Read more »
BofA Employees Respond To Merrill Lynch Business Card Complaints With Graphic Images Of Flag-On-BullBy Bess Levin
As many of you will recall, back in 2008, then Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis agreed to buy Merrill Lynch. While it wasn’t a Countrywide-level disaster of an acquisition (i.e. a bomb that’s never stopped going off), it wasn’t Lewis’s best laid plan, which is why he actually tried to get out of the deal at the 11th hour, only to be told by former Fed Chair Hank Paulson that if he wanted to keep his legs, he’d go through with it. The merger didn’t sit right with a large contingent of Merrill brokers, but they chose to go along with it for the greater good. Still, they made a solemn swear to each other that they’d fight even the smallest perceived slight to their brand and five plus years after the deal went through, they’ve kept their word. Read more »
The bull, who has been surrounded by barricades for nearly three years in order to keep him safe from Occupy Wall Street protesters, finally got the room to stretch out today when Police Commission Bill Bratton ordered his staff to remove the barriers. After keeping his fans at arms length for so long, the bull celebrated by allowing tourists and one “Wall Street veteran” to pat his head and rub him where the sun don’t shine for good luck, and will presumably be mounted by someone before nightfall. [CBS via DI]
Geoffrey Raymond, the artist who’s done everyone from Jimmy Cayne, Dick Fuld, Alan Greenspan (collectively known as “The Greats”) to Lloyd Blankfein and Ben Bernanke has a new painting out. It’s of Meredith Whitney and a bull, and here’s how Raymond describes it: “Surely you remember Picasso’s ‘Dora and the Minotaur’ from that art appreciation course you took back when, yes? Well I’ve reinterpreted this classic, bending it to serve his own twisted agenda. The result? ‘Meredith Whitney Grapples with the Next Big Prediction.’” The portrait is available for you to buy and hang over your mantle (best offer over $3,500 takes it home) and you can see it here: Read more »
Above is a desk statue being hocked to employees of various investment banks, along other crap like deal toys, frames for your certifications, bookends and so on and so forth. While the person who brought it to our attention was of the opinion it was “too dirty” for the office, I think he might be jumping to conclusions on that one. Thing is, we don’t know exactly what message the artist was trying to get across here. Really it could be anything. It could be could be that the bull is going down on the bear,* or who knows, maybe the bull just lost his contact. Maybe this was meant to be the visual representation of the old saying “You can get a good sense of market pessimism by sticking your head up a bear’s ass.” Hard to say, really, so if you’ve got an idea as to what’s going on one way or another, do weigh in.
*And so what if it is? Since when is inter-species love not appropriate for the workplace?
Let me ask you people something. If you were going to protest UBS, how might you do it? Stand outside the building chanting “UBS sucks”? Rent a helicopter and dump millions of 10-4′s on the roof? Smear a bunch of melted Toblerone bars on your shoes and track that shit through the lobby? Sure, if you were an unimaginative fuck, I guess you’d probably go with any one of those. Not Bauer Klemenz Marti. This UBS client wanted to think bigger. And weirder. More outside the box. He wanted people to say “This guy is fit for a straight jacket, we better listen to him.” Which is why after several months of threats and promises to do something about the unsatisfactory way in which he felt his money was being managed, he finally did it. This morning, he tied his pet bull to one of the bank’s branches in Grenchen and stayed there until 5:00PM. To send a message. Read more »