Can you think of anyone less qualified to make assertions on pay, and economic recovery than Kenneth Lewis? Yes, Big Bird is a good answer, it's true. In some ways we are quite surprised to see that Ken is making waves. The man is quite lucky still to be working so it is hard to imagine why he would rock the boat. And yet:
Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis, whose bank sold $13.47 billion of common stock this month, on Wednesday said the worst of the economic downturn has likely passed and that conditions will not worsen as much as feared.
"We are on the cusp of what will turn out to be a slow but sustainable economic recovery," Lewis said at a conference in London. "There will continue to be a lot of pain ... but I think the worst is most likely behind us." He projected modest U.S. and European economic growth in the second half of 2009.
Lewis, whose bank bought Merrill Lynch & Co on January 1, also said corporate and investment banking pay practices must be "reformed," with pay being tied to performance and banks being able to "claw back" pay from people who took on too much risk.
Economy bottoming, pay reform needed: BofA CEO [Reuters]