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Friday Is Ken Lewis Day: The EmperorSEC Is Not As Forgiving As I Am

Sure, Cuomo may have given him an alibi, but the SEC is still pissed off, and plans to remain so for some time:

Cuomo revealed in a letter yesterday to Congress and federal regulators that Lewis testified in December that then- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson may have threatened to remove the bank's management and directors if the lender tried to back out of buying Merrill. Lewis said he was instructed by federal officials not to disclose Merrill's losses, his desire to back out of the merger or the intervention of regulators, according to Cuomo.

If you needed a more direct example of why it is simply a bad idea in every single instance to permit government ownership of banking firms except for the limited purposes of facilitating liquidation, this is it.
Consider what can only be a devastating long-term message to markets: You can never again believe the disclosures from any firm in distress when the government is involved.
Bank of America's Lewis May Face SEC Probe on Merrill [Bloomberg]