Ken Lewis had something big to say about Bank of Amerillwide today but rather than put it in one of his famous memos, disseminated the word via Bloomberg TV, presumably because he didn't want an e-record of having ever said it. Also, because bourbon to Boone's he was drunk and that can make typing difficult.
Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis said Merrill Lynch & Co. and Countrywide Financial Corp., the two acquisitions that some analysts say helped push down the bank's share price, have been "stars" so far this year.
Lewis, speaking today in a Bloomberg Television interview from his Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters, said Merrill will be "a thing of beauty" over the long term. Merrill, the New York-based securities firm, lost $15.8 billion in the fourth quarter.
The 61-year-old banker's views on the acquisitions counter criticism from analysts such as Paul Miller of Friedman Billings Ramsey Group, who contend the bank overpaid when it agreed in September to acquire Merrill and took on excessive risk as it acquired Countrywide, formerly the largest U.S. home lender.