LayOffs Watch '07: When Ken Lewis Stops Having "Fun," People Die

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When profits in investment banking fall an astounding 93 percent to $100 million, which is less than what the cast of Friends made in the show's final season, it's time to cut your losses and run. So Chief Executive Officer Ken Lewis is taking the wisdom of a bum who yelled at him, "You should just give up," from across the street on the way into the office yesterday, and has decided to shutter Bank of America. The whole thing. Even the ATMs and the shitty, shitty online banking operation. I'm kidding! What's scary is, I could be dead serious. It would be shocking, yes, but would it really be *that* shocking? Say what you want, but the answer's "no."
Anyway, as you know, BoA is firing 3,000 of its employees, mostly from the essentially-non-performing investment banking sector, replacing a "retiring" Gene Taylor with Brian Moynihan as president of global corporate and investment banking (whose position as head of wealth management will be filled by Keith Banks, currently running the Columbia Management mutal fund arm), and-- and this seems wise-- reevaluating its goal of boosting corporate and investment banking profit by 70 percent and revenue by 50 percent within the next five years (Moynihan called it "a reshaping of the business to meet...reality"). On another note, the Journal recalls that Ken Lewis and Gene Taylor were once part of a "brash, aggressive group of bankers known as the "Florida mafia." Marinade on that, then we'll discuss the changes afoot at $8.4-billion-writedown-shop Merrill. I don't want to spoil the surprise so I'll just say that it has to do with talk of an even more Fascist sick-day policy.
BoA's Wall Street Retreat [WSJ]

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