If one were forced to create a visual slideshow encapsulating Brian Moynihan's daily professional life for roughly the last decade, one could just cut and paste Edvard Munch's "The Scream" over and over again on slide after slide and pretty much nail it.
BriMo's seemingly perpetual state of crisis at the helm of BofA has been one of the most transcendently painful things to witness in the modern history of finance. Watching the Eeyore of Wall Street take punishment after punishment from an old testament news cycle while simultaneously waging his never-ending battle to be both chairman and CEO of a bank that only causes him pain is the closest we will come to experiencing a true state of grace in American banking.
But at night, in the quiet of his Boston bedroom - far away from both Charlotte and NYC - BriMo must wonder what strange spirit possesses BofA, what cruel juju would allow him to be so slowly skewered day after excruciating day. It's almost like living in one of those stories by that Czech writer...whatshisname?
Just ask Federal Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein:
"You said it, brother" murmurs a BriMo to the darkness of his own thoughts.
But in reality, Klein was ruling on the case of a Northern California couple who claimed to have been tortured by BofA after their mortgage modification attempt turned into a mistaken foreclosure nightmare, or as the WSJ puts it:
A bankruptcy judge issued a $45 million fine against Bank of America Corp., calling the bank’s treatment of a California couple who fought to save their home “brazen” and “heartless.”
Judge Christopher Klein of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento said the bank’s mortgage modification process and mistaken foreclosure on Erik and Renee Sundquist’s home left them in “a state of battle-fatigued demoralization.”
While Klein takes pains in his long, excoriating opinion to make it clear that the unprecedentedly hefty fine is meant to be a warning to BofA leadership, we are just going to go ahead and assume that BriMo will gladly pay $45 million for the comfort of someone else calling his bank Kafkaesque.
You're not alone, BriMo. Now sleep, sweet prince.