This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

No 2009 Salary Or Bonus For Ken Lewis, $1 Million To Be Clawed Back, Says Pay Czar

Tyler Durden's picture


Ken Lewis' problems continue. The WSJ reports that the outgoing BofA/ML CEO was just docked his entire 2009 pay and then some:

Kenneth Lewis, outgoing chief executive of Bank of America Corp.,
will get no salary or bonus for 2009, according to people familiar with
the matter, the biggest Wall Street name thus far to come under the
thumb of the government's pay czar.

In fact, Mr. Lewis will have to repay the North Carolina-based bank more than $1 million in salary he has already earned.

The move was demanded by Kenneth Feinberg, the U.S. Treasury
Department's special master for compensation, and was agreed to by Mr.
Lewis and the bank. Mr. Feinberg's rationale is based largely on the
fact that Mr. Lewis will leave the firm with a package of retirement
benefits and other stock awards worth between $69.3 million and $120
million, these people said.

Look for every bank still on the taxpayer dime to look to repay TARP tomorrow.

The move will stun Wall Street, which has been anxiously awaiting
Mr. Feinberg's rulings on compensation at seven firms receiving large
sums of government aid, including also Citigroup Inc. and General
Motors. Mr. Feinberg had been expected to clamp down on compensation by
cutting salaries for the most highly-paid employees at these firms. But
until now there's been little indication he would take away an
employee's entire pay.

For Mr. Lewis, the move bookends the rapid fall of an executive once
heralded as one of America's top bankers. Less than a year ago, he was
hailed for helping avert financial disaster by snapping up teetering
mortgage giant Countrywide and rescuing investment bank Merrill Lynch.
Mr. Lewis's fortunes soon turned as he was forced into the government's
arms to help his bank digest Merrill Lynch and eventually stripped of
his chairman title by angry bank shareholders.

While you may think Lewis' the retirement benefit package may be enough to last him until his quiet end somewhere far from the company he nearly destroyed in his over-zealousness to acquire Merrill, and remembered as one of Wall Street's worst CEO's, don't forget - he still has a very rough civil (and potentially criminal) trial coming up. Those can be quite costly, and also, in jail you can only smuggle so much cash (in your various bodily orifices).


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Thu, 10/15/2009 - 17:51 | 100243 E Thomas St.
E Thomas St.'s picture

Can't BofA offer their lawyers on retainer to defend Lewis as a friendly gesture?

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 17:55 | 100249 Arco
Arco's picture

Most employee agreements like Lewis' require that the company pay for his legal defense, provided that he is terminated based on certain things agreed to in that employee agreement. It'd be interesting to know if Lewis' scenario could be considered an instance where BofA would have to for his legal defense.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:12 | 100270 deadhead
deadhead's picture

not an atty here, but i imagine it depends on the criminal side of the equation vs civil.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:11 | 100331 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

I bet he goes the way of Ken Lay...spirit broken, time to check out.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 21:02 | 100445 percolator
percolator's picture

Well, the shareholders, ah I mean taxpayers paid for Mozilo's:

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 17:58 | 100254 chet
chet's picture

Yaaaay, pay czar.  Of course, he's going to get $120 million in other benefits, but still, good show.


Next, that loudmouth AIG mofo.  Not only should he not receive a dime, he should be forced to shine the shoes of 100 taxpayers per day.  Or I should be allowed to punch him in the nuts every morning.  There are options.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:46 | 100306 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

and while your punching, give a good stomp on LORD BLANKFEINS nuts over at government saks ...

.that Fstick has the gall to talk about - bringing pay "back in line"-- as he pockets taxpayer bonus blood-money, from the mother of all backstops.

who does he think he is fooling? --Hank Paulson ?

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 20:54 | 100439 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

He's already a numb nuts chet... but punch away. What great options (perks).

Hey, Jamie Dimon... I need a shine!

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:02 | 100258 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

pay czar...we have sunk so far as a nation.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 08:37 | 100684 John Self
John Self's picture

Totally agree.  What a farce.  If I were Lewis, I would make a promissory note to a compelling charity for the amount the Czar is seeking + $1, with the condition precedent that the U.S. does not disgorge the money.  Then I'd fight the hell out of this thing, arguing all the way up through the courts that it's clearly not about the money, it's about what the government can and cannot do.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 11:19 | 100828 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You're right, but not in the way you think you are. It's pathetic that we have to have someone tell members of the financier class that they shouldn't take bonuses while their companies are circling the drain. If bankers won't self-regulate, someone's going to have to do it for them, and it so happens that the government is the only one big enough.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:18 | 100274 Fritz
Fritz's picture

More headline grabbing bullshit - A token claw-back in an attempt to quiet the angry pitchfork crowd.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 20:08 | 100402 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Yeah. Even Zero Hedge is apparently fooled. This is a big fat nothingburger.

Wake me up when he has a fine that actually stings a little. This is idiot fodder.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:25 | 100284 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

Looks like the battle lines are drawn. Welcome to the smack down. Kenny Boi vs. The Hammer. Seems like this is an attempt to discredit Lewis, not that we really need any more of that.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:25 | 100286 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

so ... why no similar announcement about bernanke, geithner and paulson? surely the economic damage they've wrought is no less severe than what lewis did.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:26 | 100287 crzyhun
crzyhun's picture

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, whether in governement or in corporations.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 20:57 | 100442 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Or governments owned by corporations...

The 1st Tenet of Fascism.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:27 | 100290 Joeman34
Joeman34's picture

I'm a capitalist [read: hate any government intervention] but I have to admit, I think they got it right here.  Not one of these bank executives deserves the pay they are currently receiving.  We all know the background and reasons why.  I know it's a slippery slope, but I'm actually glad it's happening.  Am I crazy???

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:39 | 100298 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Sir, a modern capitalist loves government intervention when his back is to the wall and bailouts are plentiful, loves government when he can (using corporate funds) lobby for (and get) lower corporate and personal tax rates, loves government when he gets no-bid cost plus contracts and hates it when the rivers flow with honey and bonus season rolls around.

Get with the program.

BTW, to answer your question, Yes. :>)

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 18:44 | 100301 chet
chet's picture

You're not crazy.  Remember we own big chunks of these companies, and really should own much more since we're the reason they're even alive.

As a shareholder, I don't want the very executives who blew up these companies to be given lavish pay packages.  I want the people who blew up these companies to be fired, docked pay, and whatever else we can do.

Most of these men shouldn't even have jobs. They used their fancy Wharton degrees to turn functioning companies into non-going concerns.  Their failures were so complete that the government had to save them.

Those are failed businesspeople who shouldn't be drawing a salary anymore, because they shouldn't be employed.  Punish incompetence and failure - nothing more capitalist than that.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:00 | 100320 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

The stockholders and the Board of Directors are the ones to do the punishing.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:06 | 100324 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

I do not want to own any chunks of these companies. I don't know anything about running a company like that, nor does the government. I want out, I don't want to be the one to do the punishing. Let the market punish them. They should have been allowed to fail. Better yet, the bubble economy should never have been created by the government in the first place.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:16 | 100342 chet
chet's picture

I couldn't agree with you more.  I don't want to own them either.  And I wish they had failed.

But wishin' and hopin' don't make it so.

The fact is that we own them now, and as long as we have control over companies (whether we want it or not) we shouldn't reward failure.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:18 | 100343 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

I'm just afraid we're trying to make a right turn by taking two wrong ones.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:28 | 100357 chet
chet's picture

I see where you're coming from. 

I just think that these "capitalists" should truly feel the pain of having to be bailed out by the taxpayer.  Instead, we get that arse CEO over at AIG openly insulting us.  They obviously don't feel any shame or humility for being on government life support.  If it takes a pay czar to make them feel that pain, so be it.  Frankly, I would prefer a couple guys with a length of pipe.

Bottom line, if you don't want government breathing down your neck, don't get your company to the point where you need to take billions of dollars from the government.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:00 | 100319 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

I deeply suspect that Ken Lewis is being made the fall guy for this whole lurid affair when instead it is Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke's salary and assets that must be recouped. I am not saying Lewis is blameless, but it is they who put a gun to his head. We know he was threatened with losing his job. I am more concerned with what we DON'T know. What else was he threatened with and is he being threatened even now to keep his mouth shut? I wouldn't put it beyond the banksters to do such a thing and eat their own when convenient - like they say - there is no honor among thieves. WHERE IS THE CLAWBACK FROM HANK PAULSON's BILLIONS?

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:07 | 100325 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

People on the Street are ruthless - ice in their veins. You are correct, what else is Lewis being threatened with? The bankstas own the joint.

"I need, Don Corleone, all of those politicians that you carry around in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes." -- Sollozzo

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:11 | 100330 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Apocalypse Now-

A wise man GG, divert attent
ion away from the true ilk and toward a non New York bank that dared to grow bigger than the club.

The fed has a rule similar to our own: The first rule of fed club is that you don't talk about fed club. Ken violated that rule while under oath as he mentioned that you "Don't go against the fed".

From now on, we should refer to the fed as K-fed.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:14 | 100337 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Any charges based on decisions he made under duress from the government are morally bankrupt, in my opinion.

Not that he gets a pass, but public rage needs to be directed based on the full context.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:38 | 100370 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

No one put a gun to his head to negotiate a ridiculous price with John Thain. He should have paid market price for Merrill Lynch when Thain knew he had no option. Lewis is an egomaniac that deserves everything he is getting. Countrywide--ignorant purchase.  Merrill, pure idiocy considering the potential toxic waste. Don't get me wrong GG, I agree that Hank and Ben are to blame for all of this and should be held accountable, but calling Lewis a fall guy is absurd. BAC was already a wasteland thanks to Ken's poor judgement. Merrill was just the topping on his bad Christmas fruitcake. Just check out how much fun M&A departments have had with BAC over the last several years:

Now tell me you could ever read their balance sheet and believe any of their accounting. Feels like Worldcom all over again.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 23:02 | 100527 deadhead
deadhead's picture

fasb 166, 167 comes into play Q1 2010. the way it stands now, all the SIV shit that bac has (caymans is my best guess but location is irrelevant at this point in my view) is supposed to come back on the balance sheet.  i think most of it is like sub prime  cdo's and the like...i'm looking forward to seeing this one happen. 

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 22:08 | 100494 anynonmous
anynonmous's picture

The editorial board has suggseted that GG prepare an article on this very topic for the "contributors" section of ZH before the "trial of the century" takes on a life of its own. 

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 09:15 | 100708 AR
AR's picture

GG / Regarding some of the posts above, Lewis' entire legal defense fees and expenses will be paid for by the bank, as he was acting in his duty and capacity as CEO by and through the bank's board (critics forget that all decisions regarding the MER acquisition were board approved, not Lewis'). We've heard that both Bernanke and Paulsen were intimately involved in directing many of the terms and conditions of the Merrill acquisition, including the year-end timing. The real question is, how far will Lewis go in "outing" them? Ken's major fault was failing to disclose the Merrill bonuses and losses prior to the shareholder vote on December 5th. This, he has told colleagues, was a terrible error in judgement. However, we have yet to hear if he was advised, or directed, to withhold such information from shareholders, from either the bank's attorneys, or, if the edict came from Bernanke or Paulsen themselves, in order to ensure the acquisiton closed by year-end. I suspect Cuomo will uncover these details in the coming months.  In all, Ken deeply regrets following this ill-advised advice. Lastly, we find it a bit amusing, that Lewis is being blamed directly, while everyone seems to forget that it was his Board of Directors that approved the deal, and they were intimately apprised, and aware, of all the details of the deal (most specifically, the MER bonuses and losses). There is a lot more of this story that has yet to come out.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:06 | 100323 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

How about the rest of the crowd ?

Fuld, ex Mer CEO, Dimon, Paulson, Blankfein, Bear CEO, Mack,

and all the rest....

How about people within the SEC, Rating agencies, and the list goes on.

Enough of this public placebo bullshit.

How about some heads on poles, and their bankroles busted?

Give me a reason why this should not be the case.

Including Bush, Cheney, all of them.

The whole enchalada.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:12 | 100333 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Try him, hang him, convert his assets to cash and burn them. Repeat 100k times.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:12 | 100334 Louise1
Louise1's picture

yes, but once the pay czar goes after Lewis, then he can go after anyone.  This is just the beginning. 



Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:15 | 100339 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

right...let's see him go after Paulson, Geithner, Bernanke...

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:20 | 100346 Louise1
Louise1's picture

but they won't go after those guys, they will want to control YOUR pay.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:25 | 100352 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

ah, my mistake...I thought you were lauding the czar.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:33 | 100364 Louise1
Louise1's picture

no, bemoaning the beginning of the end

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 23:16 | 100539 Marley
Marley's picture

Beginning of the end?  How about June 24,1985,"the first time America has slipped into the status of a net debtor since the early part of the century."

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 01:27 | 100606 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

How about 1913 then. I bet we could go back even further.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 02:30 | 100616 Marley
Marley's picture

Aw, good one.  But to be fair we were a nascent economic power at that point in time.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 02:53 | 100623 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Yeah, it's been a good ride. Maybe the 'end' is kinda relative...I mean it's not like time is going to stop or anyth

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:14 | 100338 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

BofA bought insurance to cover Lewis' legal bills... that's what normally happens... you didn't think he would pay for it did you?

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:19 | 100344 waterdog
waterdog's picture

The next penalty for him will be his prescription policy will no longer cover his Viagra.

It does no good to ask a man, who has major legal problems, for money back. I mean, really, claw this.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:20 | 100347 cthulhu
cthulhu's picture

Aren't pay arrangements regulated by state law? It would seem to me that standard contractual arrangements couldn't be overturned by a "pay czar" without some enabling legislation -- which I'm not sure exists.


Then again, "...was agreed to by Mr. Lewis and the bank." I wonder what the quo was for that quid.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:27 | 100351 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

I don't think this government is very much concerned about contractual arrangements.


[edit: ...which I believe is the main message to be taken from this whole 'pay czar' thing.]

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:27 | 100353 perpetual-runner-up
perpetual-runner-up's picture

This is a practice known as "setting precident" choose a target the masses have emotional hatred for and set your precident of breaking contracts, and doing other things that are otherwise unthinkable, there...

For everyone that agrees with this, wait until it comes your way and the people doing say "we have precident in the Ken Lewis case that says we are allowed to do this...

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:28 | 100356 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture


Thu, 10/15/2009 - 22:14 | 100499 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

I find it interesting that AIG bonus contracts were honored, even though Geithner approved them from onset.  The 100M to Phibro energy guy was also paid.  Forcing Citi to sell the energy group to Occidental???  The transperancy of the government deciding who lives and who dies goes back to Lehman, Bear, ML!  Government Sachs.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:43 | 100375 lsbumblebee
lsbumblebee's picture

Kudlow's on right now and he's really upset about this. He's asking if this is "The End of Capitalism?"

I'm looking forward to his next programs entitled "The End of a Free Press?" and "The End of an Informed Citizenry?"


Thu, 10/15/2009 - 23:05 | 100529 deadhead
deadhead's picture

capitalism ended when the government stepped to stop creative destruction.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:45 | 100378 Louise1
Louise1's picture

This is the scariest quote from the WSJ article - IMO  - and its scary how easily people will agree to it

"Mr. Feinberg suggested that Ken Lewis should take no compensation for 2009. Mr. Lewis agreed. Mr. Lewis added that he felt it was not in the best interest of Bank of America for him to get involved in a dispute with the paymaster," the spokesman said.


the PAYMASTER, indeed.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:49 | 100382 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Wellhell, it seemed there was a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome, "gee, how do we solve this problem we have", I've always preferred clawbacks from the primary actors. The next question is if his passport has been forfeited or not.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:49 | 100383 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Wellhell, it seemed there was a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome, "gee, how do we solve this problem we have", I've always preferred clawbacks from the primary actors. The next question is if his passport has been forfeited or not.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 19:51 | 100385 Bear
Bear's picture

How much does the Czar make? Any way to find out?

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 00:00 | 100561 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

He is working pro bono according to an NPR interview.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 20:03 | 100386 anynonmous
anynonmous's picture

So let's all focus on Ken Lewis and his paltry millions of compensation; that's exactly what the PTB and MSM are hoping for. It's much better headline material than the estimated $20,000,000,000.00 of bonuses that Lloyd will be bestowing on his disciples. Or better still let's all focus on that evil six year old that the same MSM spent the day reporting on.

Lead story just now on CNN "should balloon boy get spanked? twitter your answer to Campbell Brown" 

People Ken Lewis and balloon boy are one and the same; they are Red Herrings.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 20:13 | 100406 lsbumblebee
lsbumblebee's picture

Amen brother.

Ever notice how the MSM reports on the economy? They never ask questions like "who is responsible for fucking us and what are we gonna do about it?" Instead we get helpful hints on how to enjoy eating catfood and clipping coupons and just deal with it. Open your mouth and swallow people.


Thu, 10/15/2009 - 20:07 | 100399 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"Mr. Lewis will leave the firm with a package of retirement benefits and other stock awards worth between $69.3 million and $120 million"

... and he has to give $1 million back?

Well that's just great. The moral of the story is still: Lie, cheat and steal. Because all you'll get is a very soft, playful slap on the wrist.

Grow some fucking balls and take away his retirement package. He has personally done much more damage than that, and cost America many multiples of that. Take it *ALL* away. That'll wake some people up.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 20:27 | 100422 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

lewis is clearly the fall guy and they are moving to shut him up. i agree with gg

i just played with the captcha, like the way if you hit the up or down key you get fake answers. learn something new every day.

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 21:57 | 100478 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

Well, it's all over but the shouting.

Ol' Kenny boy decided to let go of about 1 mil + to get his 69-103MM retirement package, which he would be expected to fight to keep.

However, I'm sure they won't go after his pension ... that's already been quietly agreed to  by all parties. The oligarchs have to take care of their own.. beacuse they don't want Kenny playing canary at all the show trials that will surely come once this really hits the fan.

KptLt. Laughing Swordfish

9er Unterseeboote Flotille


Thu, 10/15/2009 - 22:06 | 100491 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The number 1 target should be Paulson....

Take it all and then some....and jail for the rest
of his life....

Then go after everybody else....

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 23:36 | 100550 JR
JR's picture

Ken Lewis has not been tried and found guilty of any crime.  He worked for that money and he was forced by the government to take bailout money. If the United States is to have a government and its citizens are equal before the law, then Pay Czar Feinberg’s authority has to be removed immediately.  Without delay!  Otherwise, one of the greatest miscarriages of justice will have been committed.  And for those who believe Ken Lewis is guilty of civil or criminal infraction, let them produce the evidence. 

It turns out Obama is a lynching judge—it’s enough just to say someone’s guilty. The Ken Lewis decision was obviously cleared through the White House and by singling out an individual accused and not convicted—for not a reduction in bonuses but an elimination of a full’s year compensation for work performed—is making a political example of what could be an innocent man. If the government can confiscate what individuals in private business can be paid for their work, then no individual in the United States is any longer free

Say what you will, present all the figures that you will, I say if BofA is brought down into bankruptcy it will be by the banker power lords who broke this 21st century—Goldman Sachs (Paulson/Blankfein/Summers/Geithner), JP Morgan (Rockfeller/Rothschild/Dimon), and Citigroup (Rubin aka Goldman who killed Glass-Steagall/Stanley Fischer also former IMF and now governor of the Bank of  Israel)—who work together to consolidate  power and protect their members from competition. 

The history of the Federal Reserve System is 95 years of devaluing the currency and robbing taxpayers to bail out these same bankers over and over for their kleptomaniac stealing and other crimes. 

To believe New York Senator Charles Schumer’s poison letter on IndyMac was public spirited and that it was not his hand that pulled the trigger that killed Indy, ie competition, is to believe that Barack Obama is not going to run for re-election.

And it doesn’t take a Sam Spade to figure out that Bernanke, Paulson,  Blankfein, Dimon and Rubin targeted BofA to keep from losing their pieces of Merrill that would have been lost.

They also forced taxpayer money on a healthy corporation to cover their tracks.  IOW, the taxpayers saved Merrill for its creditors.  And, incidentally, we’re finding out many of those creditors are still at large.

You say you need proof of who’s calling the shots in this dying country?  The AP under the Freedom of Information Act has reviewed seven months of U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s appointment calendars that “offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the continued influence of three companies –Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Groups Inc.- whose executives can reach the nation's most powerful economic official on the phone, sometimes several times a day…” but Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis appears on Geithner's calendars only three times. Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack also appears three times…

It was former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Henry Paulson, formerly CEO of Goldman, and Benjamin Shalom Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors, whose GD thesis advisor at M.I.T. was Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, who told Lewis that to invoke the material adverse change (MAC) clause to block the Merrill deal "would create systemic risk” for this nation’s financial system. Lewis never knew what hit him, a hapless victim along with BofA shareholders, of two of the greatest flim-flam artists the world has ever produced.

I ask, are the right men on trial?

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 07:03 | 100664 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

JR, as usual you are on the mark.

The lead conspirators in the BofA Merrill securities fraud were Bernanke and Paulson.  There is no way a trial of Lewis can proceed without them being deeply involved in the narrative.  Lewis followed orders when he acquired Merrill - recall that Paulson told him he had to that fateful weekend, a weekend during which the most worrisome issue was how much the ML top brass should be paid in light of the fact that ML was toast. Apparently the decision made was: a shitload.  But that was not the real purpose. The real plan was to "save" ML, and that was Paulson's and Bernanke's goal.  They did all they could to encourage, cajole, threaten and finally bribe Lewis and BofA into committing the securities fraud, and that is the truth. Did they act out of some selfless altrusim, feeling that if ML went down the USA would suffer some terrible harm? Hardly.  We still don't know what dominos would have tumbled had ML fallen, and who would have been in trouble, but hopefully we will.

By the way, I'd be astonished if BofA is not contractually on the hook for Lewis's defense. 

Where is justice, and who will overthrow the oligarchy?  The Lewis trial will be a focus in those arenas.  

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 13:26 | 100994 JR
JR's picture

Ned, thanks for your expanded insight into the injustice revolving around the Lewis targeting.  In discovery prior to trial I am hopeful Lewis’s counsel can nail down the exact nature of the Secretary of Treasury’s role.  For a man of Paulson’s biased connections to even be operating in this position is a testament to how far down the road our federal system has traveled to tyranny.  And the fact that Bernanke, a U.S. citizen, can be excused from being cross examined under oath when another U.S. citizen stands accused of an issue where Bernanke played the major role, demonstrates that America has outgrown the Federal Reserve System.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 14:10 | 101044 Prophet of Wise
Prophet of Wise's picture

The hangman's noose knows no prejudice. It renders decision equally without discrimination. Justice to all and mercy to none. 

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!