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Ken Lewis Calls Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson To The Stand

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Most of us (me) were kind of under the impression that now that he's retired, Ken Lewis didn't much give a rat's ass what Andrew Cuomo or the SEC, or anyone throws his way. Sleeping late, boozing in the morning, distilling his own moonshine, and participating in beard-growing contests are what his days are about, not defending himself re: whether or not he tried to keep the Merrill losses on the hush-hush from his investors until the deal was done, at which time John Thain came in the front door tracked shit all over BAC's new rug. Apparently, though, we were wrong, and Ken Lewis is fighting this fight.

Charlie Gasparino reports that Lewis will not be settling, and if his lawyers can't get this thing dismissed, he's going to court, where Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke will probably be on the witness list. Obviously this is excellent news, mostly because Paulson and Bernanke most likely don't have the time or inclination to take part in Lewis's little mock trial, and the conversations wherein KL asks should prove tremendous as will the night HP decides to have Lewis killed. Unfortunately at this time it looks like the former BAC CEO does not have plans to defend himself, but we can certainly try and push him in that direction. In related news, since we'd kind of would love to see KL stick it to Andy Cuomo, what other star witnesses could Lewis call to the stand? So far he's got his favorite Cosi delivery guy, the homeless man he sometimes boozes with, Angelo Mozilo, and his own personal Marisa Tomei, Dick Bové.
Update: Early genius idea for people who can attest to Lewis's character are these guys and girls. Your help in this endeavor will not go unnoticed by KL.


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]