Ken Lewis: They Made Me Do It

But They Made Me Do It!

But They Made Me Do It!

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that B of A CEO Ken Lewis testified to NY AG Andrew Cuomo that he was coerced into going through with the Merrill Lynch acquisition by Bernanke and Paulson, of the Fed and Treasury, respectively.

Yeah, OK. 

From Reuters:
The Journal said Lewis testified that Bernanke and Paulson told him the merger needed to go through and that any failure would “impose a big risk to the financial system” of the United States.

Kenny wanted Merrill Lynch so bad he could taste the bull’s hindquarters.  His problem was, he couldn’t wait a few days to get it for free, like Barclays did for their Lehman Brothers purchase.

As far as Merrill’s fundamentals deteriorating, well, what do you expect when you don’t do any due diligence?

Bank of America shares have lost three-fourths of their value since the Merrill purchase was announced Sept. 15.

This admission by Ken Lewis, that he let the government bully his company into completing the deal may be the nail in his coffin…

At Bank of America’s April 29 annual meeting, shareholders will vote on whether to force Lewis to step down as chairman of the largest U.S. bank or leave its board, because of Merrill and a falling share price.

He could be a goner, I only hope he saves the rest of the excuses for his inevitable tell-all book.  He’ll have plenty of time to write it during his upcoming forced retirement.

Full Story: WSJ – US Urged Silence (Reuters)

Read Also: CEO Dead Pool – Pandit Vs Lewis

Full Disclosure: I have no positions in BAC