Bank of America Corp. and former Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis took big steps to put the financial crisis behind them by paying state and federal agencies to settle lawsuits over the acquisitions of Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co...Mr. Lewis agreed to pay $10 million and accept a three-year ban from work at any public company as part of the New York settlement. Bank of America will cover Mr. Lewis's penalty, according to people familiar with the deal. Mr. Lewis neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. [WSJ]
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]