Bank Executives Freed Of These Earthly Bounds!

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From Flying magazine's eIssue:

On Tuesday night, with no fanfare whatsoever, Congress left out a provision of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) that would have prohibited TARP beneficiaries from using bizjets. No word on exactly why the provision was deleted, but NBAA, among other aviation member organizations, is delighted. In a release on Wednesday, NBAA President Ed Bolen put it nicely, saying "Congress has clearly recognized that it is important to provide Americans with strong oversight of the federal dollars in the TARP program, but that the language addressing business aviation had the potential to fuel job losses for countless people in the general aviation community." The bill looked to be headed for approval by as early as Thursday.

We are very relieved over here. Being forced to sit next to Ken Lewis in first class (or John Thain for that matter, who would try to sell you his bag of half eaten nuts he'd already spit in for twice their retail cost once the flight attendant had left) was just not something we wanted to endure, and we just know he'd step right on our face to get into the raft if we put down in the Hudson.

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Bank Of America Investors Still Don't Feel Properly Compensated For Having Merrill Lynch Rammed Down Their Throats

Remember in 2008, when Ken Lewis was all, "Oooh, wait, I don't know about this Merrill Lynch thing" and tried to back out of buying the bank? And Hank Paulson threatened to stuff him in a meat locker if he did so Ken Lewis said okay, fine, I'll do it? BAC investors are still upset about that. Bank of America directors’ $20 million settlement of investor lawsuits alleging the bank overpaid when it bought Merrill Lynch & Co. amounts to just 4 percent of the board’s $500 million in insurance coverage and is inadequate, lawyers objecting to the accord said. Attorneys for Bank of America shareholders suing in Delaware over the $50 billion acquisition of Merrill Lynch have asked a judge in that state to keep their claims alive even though a federal judge in New York is considering a $20 million settlement of almost identical suits brought by other bank investors. If that accord is approved, it could wipe out the Delaware claims. “The proposed settlement is grossly inadequate and represents only 0.4 percent of the value of the $5 billion derivative claims that the Delaware Derivative Plaintiffs have been vigorously pursuing,” lawyers for the Delaware investors said in a Delaware Chancery Court filing late yesterday. The settlement also amounts to “only 4 percent” of available insurance, they said. Disgruntled shareholders contend the board and former Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis misled them about the brokerage firm’s losses leading up to the buyout and should have pulled the plug on the deal. Lewis, who left Bank of America in 2009, is now chairman of Chicago-based LaSalle Bank NA. [Bloomberg]