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One More Question For Jon Finger To Ask To Ken Lewis

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Change is certainly in the air at Bank of America these days. After board members O. Templeton Sloan and Robert Tillman resigned last week, BAC announced that its Chief Risk Officer Amy Woods Brinkley agreed to retire and would be replaced by Greg Curl. This seems to be an interesting choice given BAC's recent history.
Curl's primary role at BAC was as a dealmaker and can claim such successes as overseeing both the Merrill and Countrywide purchases. In the words of Kenny Lewis, Curl, "has that natural ability to look at things, see both the upside and the potential pitfalls and then navigate the right course." Yes, clearly there is a long track record of this given the timing of the Countrywide purchase and complete debacle involved in the Merrill purchase. So the guy that oversaw BAC's overpayment for Merrill will be bringing the new approach to risk the company so desperately wants. Makes perfect sense.
Bank of America Ousts Head of Risk Oversight [NYT]


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]