The Reformed Broker for Bank of America CEO

Bank of America HQ, Charlotte NC

After much soul searching and consumption of Skittles over the weekend, I’ve decided to formally throw my hat in the ring for the position of Bank of America CEO.

Frankly, folks, this is the easiest job in finance right now – akin to taking over an NFL franchise the year after it goes 0 and 16.  Regardless of what you do, it would be hard to NOT make an improvement.

Below is TRB’s Nine Point Plan for Fixing Bank of America.  B of A board members who are feelin’ me can holla by phone or hit me on LinkedIn to set up a meeting…

1.  No More Bank of Amerillwide:  The bankers become B of A, the investment people become Merrill Lynch.  Period.  No more muddling of the brands, you have a bank and a brokerage, keep them distinct.  Citigroup already proved that the “supermarket” concept for financial services is a failure 10 years ago.  Oh, and the janitorial staff will henceforth be known as Countrywide.

2.  Ken Lewis banished from the company in any capacity.  He’s accomplished great things for the firm in the past (pre-2007), but his continued involvement at this point prevents any kind of forward momentum.

3.  Corporate HQ moved from Charlotte.  Not to NYC but to Washington DC, ya know, to be closer to the shareholders.

4.  Investment banking activity at B of A must cease immediately.  Guys, you’re not good at it and cannot compete, you’re just paying people to stay in the game.  All worthwhile banking deals and employees become Merrill.  Put the Goldman Envy up in the attic along with the old Fleet paraphernalia, the Avril Lavigne CDs and the rubber Livestrong bracelets.  The aught’s decade is over, the moment has passed.

5.  12 month moratorium on new branches/ ATM alcoves.  Only open a new location if you can shut down or sell off an unproductive one.

6.  Pay back TARP.  By Any Means Necessary.  A timetable must be established and executed upon regardless of the “uncertainty”.  This was the smartest thing Goldman and Morgan did.  It closed the chapter.

7.  Cut Bank of America sell-side research, brokerage operations, and retail advisor sales force.  Raise payouts for top advisors, move them over to Merrill where they belong.

8.  Announce joint venture with Small Business Association.  While trillions in bailouts have been shoveled into the big bank furnace, the small businessman has not only been ignored, he is now being informed that taxes, healthcare costs etc. are headed higher next year.  B of A could be a hero in this arena and pick up plenty of new business accounts by offering a program to the most important people in our country, the business owners.

9.  Freeze all credit card APR hikes until TARP has been paid off.  The fact that a bank that’s borrowing at zero percent from the government for almost a year can’t make money with credit cards at a reasonable interest rate (mid-teens let’s say) is a farce.  Show America that you actually deserve to be the “Bank Of” and build back some goodwill.  Right now, everyone hates you and jacking up credit card rates will only make things worse.

So these are the broad strokes of my plan to fix Bank of America.  And no, I won’t say that the road ahead will be difficult, I’ll say the opposite – the road ahead is a cakewalk if I am appointed as your new CEO.  There are enough smart and talented people at B of A/ Merrill Lynch to turn this thing, so getting the strategy right at the top is all that matters. 

Half of your competitors for each line of business have disappeared, literally.  Bernanke is keeping the punch bowl available and spiked with 151 proof rum.  Your cost of borrowing is effectively zero for the foreseeable future.  Forget the investment banking fantasies and global franchise pipe dreams. 

Just get out there are be a damn bank, would you please?  The environment has never been better to do so.

Tags: , , ,

This content, which contains security-related opinions and/or information, is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in any manner as professional advice, or an endorsement of any practices, products or services. There can be no guarantees or assurances that the views expressed here will be applicable for any particular facts or circumstances, and should not be relied upon in any manner. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment.

The commentary in this “post” (including any related blog, podcasts, videos, and social media) reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the Ritholtz Wealth Management employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded the views of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC. or its respective affiliates or as a description of advisory services provided by Ritholtz Wealth Management or performance returns of any Ritholtz Wealth Management Investments client.

References to any securities or digital assets, or performance data, are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others.

Wealthcast Media, an affiliate of Ritholtz Wealth Management, receives payment from various entities for advertisements in affiliated podcasts, blogs and emails. Inclusion of such advertisements does not constitute or imply endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation thereof, or any affiliation therewith, by the Content Creator or by Ritholtz Wealth Management or any of its employees. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. For additional advertisement disclaimers see here:

Please see disclosures here.

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web
  1. buy adderalls online commented on Jan 13

    … [Trackback]

    […] Here you can find 80295 more Information on that Topic: […]

  2. sell car commented on Jan 15

    … [Trackback]

    […] Info on that Topic: […]

  3. click for more commented on Feb 03

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you can find 10435 more Info on that Topic: […]

  4. CI/CD commented on Feb 07

    … [Trackback]

    […] Information to that Topic: […]