Bank Of America: Hungry Like The Wolf

Publish date:

Wall Street loves to describe itself as various animals. Given. You've got your bulls and bears of course, but many firms like to put their own original spin on things. For instance, at Bridgewater, employees are told to "be the hyena, attacking the wildebeest." And at Bank of America, according to a new book by Greg Farrell, at least under the regime of Ken Lewis and his underboss Steele Alphin, they were wolves.

"We're like the wolf," Alphin said, leaning over his chair, a playful smile on his face. "The wolf doesn't hunt for packs of animals. It stays behind the pack and looks for the weak ones that can't keep up, or the ones who wander from the pack." [Greg] Fleming was transfixed. "My advice to you is to stay up front with the herd," Alphin said, warming to his topic. "Stay at the front of the pack. If not, the wolf will get you. And remember, the wolf is hungry and rarely fails." Fleming started to say something but didn't know what to say. Alphin continued. "It's your decision, but the view is better from the front of the pack. Do know there is a wolf there and he will get you. And the wolf is hungry." Alphin made a playful biting gesture with his hand, in case Fleming didn't grasp the meaning of his words. "He'll git you."

The Wolfman Of Bank Of America [Daily Intel]


Bank Of America Briefly Considered Unburdening Itself Of The Drunken Mistake That Was Countrywide

And then decided that sticking with the "worst deal in the history of American finance," which has cost it $40 billion in cleanup so far, made them at least look like responsible adults, facing the consequences of their actions, rather than deadbeats trying to take the easy way out. Long before Sanford Weill suggested last week that big banks should split up, Bank of America executives and directors considered the idea and then decided against it, said people close to the nation's second-biggest bank by assets...Chief Executive Brian Moynihan and his team looked at a possible bankruptcy of Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled mortgage operation it purchased in 2008. Management also studied whether it made sense to break off Merrill Lynch, the securities firm it purchased in 2009. Mr. Moynihan ultimately recommended to his board that neither action made sense. The company decided Merrill had become too big of a profit center and splitting it off could expose the brokerage firm to the sort of funding problems that killed off other Wall Street firms in 2008. Meanwhile, it felt bankruptcy of Countrywide might invite more legal and reputational troubles for Bank of America while exposing other subsidiaries to problems. Bank Breakups, Not So Fast [WSJ]