Attention, Bank of Amerrillwide shareholders and employees: I know you're probably all pretty prettay prettay down in the dumps right now but redirect your anger my friends, because Ken Lewis et al. are in no way to blame. In fact, no one really is. When you think about it, Bank of Amerillwide is a lot like a farm. You can work your damn hardest, and then some bad luck, or weather, could come along and wipe our all your great effort. I guess in this scenario, Countrywide would be, hmm, what, a stray horse that came along and shat in the mouth our crops and Merrill as...as what? Hmm? How about "the radioactive fallout of plutonium assets, drifting gently down to impregnate the soil with its poison"? Would that work?
For those of you wondering WTF I'm talking about, after the jump, an email sent from Chief Administrative Officer, Lewis right-hand man, and recently-subpoenaed Steele Alphin to a shareholder this morning, in response to said shareholder's expression of disappointment in BAC, of late.
Date: January 28, 2009 8:35:16 AM PST
Subject: RE: Longtime Shareholder
I enjoyed reading your email yesterday and have reflected on it and thought I would send you a quick note back. My grandfather and father lived and grew up in the Tidewater region of Virginia, specifically in Waverly and Windsor. My grandfather farmed, logged, raised horses, sold produce, opened a hardware and feed store and had many other interests. Never a rich man, but a principled and respected man. At one point, he was even the mayor of Windsor. He also had a drive-in theatre for local entertainment. My father farmed his entire life until his death. I am very familiar with hard work and great efforts that could be lost with a hurricane or rainy season as we grew peanuts and corn during my youth. I have seen the finest crop never harvested because of weather. Even in those times though, we replanted in the spring, looked for better weather and did our best to keep the weeds and grass out of our crops.
I have been part of Bank of America for 32 years and sometimes draw my views about this industry from my childhood on the farm - that your best efforts can be lost unexpectedly and for no particular reason but that you are always better served to look forward and keep your business in order, pay your bills and have a good team to build for the future.
I appreciate your long-term support of our company and I share in your disappointment at this point, but I am committed to help this company grow and reward our shareholders in the future. As what to do with your investment funds in the future, I can only advise to study what you think would be best for you and your family, seek good advice and then make a decision that you are comfortable with.
Again, thank you for your note. It brings back many memories of my youth.