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What Sort Of Refreshments And Special Services Should Ken Lewis Provide Wednesday To Appease Shareholders?

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As previously mentioned, last week's annual Citi investor meeting was lacking in one very important item-- snacks. Much inkhas been spilled over the fact that the Big C failed to offer shareholders the standard coffee and (citi logo-frosted) cookies they've come to enjoy in years past, supposedly in a cost-cutting effort. But cutting the sugar and caffeine only saves so much (and even less when the sweets are being made not by a caterer but by Vikram himself), and costs much more when you factor in pissed of fractional owners, who were expecting the free goods.
In an obvious attempt to drop a hint, the Charlotte Observer today mentions the importance of laying food and drink on the table, two days before Bank of America's shareholder meeting and with plenty of time to make arrangements. Now more than ever, if he'd like to keep his job (and it's not entirely clear he does), Ken Lewis needs to make people happy. It goes without saying that investors like Jonathan Finger need to be stuffed with pastries but we're thinking Lewis needs to go further than your standard coffee and cookies spread. First off, he should be dressed up as a waitress, and, instead of up on the stage, removed from the people, down in the trenches, asking questions like, "Can I get you some pie, sugar?" If he hasn't already, he should start brewing enough moonshine to cover at least a few thousand, and he should also be coming up with special stuff to do in order to show shareholders how much he truly cares. Offering himself up for clownfacing,* yes, but what else? Let him know here.
*It'd be cathartic for a lot of people, I think.


No One Told Ken Lewis Shareholders Needed To Know About Merrill's Massive Losses, Okay?

Remember in 2008, when Ken Lewis was all, “Oooh, wait, I don’t know about this Merrill Lynch thing, it looks kinda bad, I don’t think I want to buy it anymore, I’m nervous [bites nails, shifts weight from one foot to the other like he has to pee]” and tried to back out of the deal? And Hank Paulson threatened to stuff him in a meat locker if he did so Lewis said okay, fine, I’ll buy it and then did, without mentioning anything to shareholders about Merrill's impending losses? Well 1) People are still upset about it but 2) Ken was under the impression shareholders were on a need to know basis. Top executives at Bank of America Corp did not tell shareholders just prior to a 2008 vote on its purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co that losses were mounting and expected to weigh down earnings for years, papers filed in private shareholder litigation show. But the bank and former Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis said in their own court papers that they should not be liable to shareholders who claimed to have lacked information they needed to vote on the once $50 billion merger. Lewis also said he had been advised by the bank's law firm and chief financial officer that no disclosure was necessary. No further questions. BofA masked Merrill loss before 2008 vote: filings [Reuters]