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Not Much Sleep For Ken Lewis This Weekend After FBI Joins Investigation Of Bank Of America

Tyler Durden's picture


Quoting to an unnamed source, The Charlotte Observer points out that the latest agencies joining the Bank of America/Merrill Bonus SNAFU are the Justice Department and the FBI. In related unconfirmed rumor/speculation, Ambien sales at pharmacies around Ken Lewis' current house(es) go through the roof.

According to the article:

The criminal investigation has been underway for about six months, the
source said. The probe means an additional layer of scrutiny for the
Charlotte-based bank, which bought Merrill on Jan. 1.

The previously disclosed investigations of the bank have appeared to
largely involve civil matters that could lead to financial or
regulatory penalties against the bank, or fines against some of its

The FBI involvement opens up the possibility of
criminal charges, although the scope and possible outcome of the probe
remain unclear.

Bank of America spokesman Jim Mahoney declined to confirm whether
the FBI or Justice Department were investigating the bank, but he said
there are "various government agencies that are continuing to look at
the issues associated with Merrill Lynch." He said the agencies extend
beyond the SEC and the New York and N.C. attorneys general.

continue to believe that no action is imminent nor that there is any
basis for any action," Mahoney said of the investigations.

Looks like the SEC will have a tough time getting off the hook on this one. But at least REM sleep at Hank's and the Chairman's abodes will proceed without interruption.



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Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:22 | 73751 Veteran
Veteran's picture

He's a Patsy.  Ken Lewis is a douche, but he sure as hell isn't the only one, and BofA ain't the only one either.  Where are the investigations of everyone else?!?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:23 | 73755 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

The FBI only sniffs where it's told.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:26 | 73761 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

Are you suggesting that GS or JPM would benefit from this?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:50 | 73816 Deficient Market
Deficient Market's picture

Less competition could never hurt. Now that they've maxed out the market, they need to look for other places to suck blood from

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:56 | 73827 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

I'm suggesting that the FBI will never investigate GS or JPM, the FBI is a lap dog for the banksters. Lewis is a goat.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 18:10 | 73949 Pimp Daddy
Pimp Daddy's picture

as soon as the goat publicly acknowledged being "forced" into the deal and hiding losses, he signed his own death warrant. you can't F with them and get away with it. and he thought he was protected. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 03:41 | 74291 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Can't see that GS or JPM would benefit in any big way from this.  BAC's claim to fame is holding almost 11% of all bank deposits in the US (mostly private individuals) and its lock on California and Florida real estate, as well as construction loans. 

JPM is not about to become everyman's deposit taker nor do I believe Jamie Dimon wants too big a piece of the residential mortgage market.

GS always looked down on the working class Irish of Merrill Lynch, and now that the firm has been gutted of anyone having anything remotely resembling talent, GS would fear them even less.  Contempt might better describe it.  On the other hand, MER might well be a cesspool into which GS has always thrown its waste, so they may have an incentive to keep them alive, kind of like a truly arms length SIV.

BAC was (is) huge in the derivative arena, though that is not something of which one should feel pride or comfort at present.  Don't think anybody wants that from them.

If GS and JPM do want to see BAC die, it is likely to be merely for spite, which come to think of it might be enough of a draw.

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 03:46 | 74292 chindit13
chindit13's picture

duplicate deleted

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:26 | 73762 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

That's what you get for throwing GS-alum Paulson and general stooge Bernanke under the bus.

Did Lewis ever work for GS?  No, that's what I thought.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:36 | 73778 monmick
monmick's picture

I remember several months ago, when Bernanke appeared before congress and one congresswoman confused him with Paulson (she referred to him as the former CEO of GS)... Bernanke simply chuckled and said that he was the former CEO of the Princeton Economics Department... Pretty funny stuff...

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:28 | 73765 monmick
monmick's picture

Yeah, looks more and more like he will be the fall guy... or at least one of them. What was he thinking, phoquing with Hank and Ben?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:31 | 73769 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Um, didn't they get the memo from Alberto Gonazales? The Justice Department doesn't actually try to solve crimes anymore.

I must say I feel a bit for Lewis. This deal was forced on him. I wouldn't blame him one bit for throwing Paulson and Bernanke right under the bus. "Talk to your own Treasury Department, because this is what they wanted."

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:33 | 73772 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Well, maybe the legal system isn't going to complete a retracement to pre-Magna Carta levels. Or, perhaps, this is for display purposes only. It's so hard to tell when so many laws have become optional.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:34 | 73773 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

get real. no one else is going to be investigated. Lewis is the patsy.....west coast guy, never worked for goldman, ratted them out to cuomo. its over for ken.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:49 | 73911 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Could we see another midnight trip to the Lubyanka, signed confessions, and a convenient .25 cal hole to the back of the head?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 19:22 | 74039 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Behind a car dealership, don't forget.  It's the new fish wrapped in newspaper.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:36 | 73777 Señor Tranche
Señor Tranche's picture

So they make Ken Lewis breach his fiduciary duty in the Merrill transaction, and then come after him for doing it?  Fuck Ken Lewis, he deserves to go to jail, but this is not the right way to put him there.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:48 | 73809 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

I wouldn't say they made Lewis do anything. Seems like he had a handshake deal with Thain over the $5 Billion in bonuses that wasn't disclosed; then of course, the losses, and the threats. He may have thought he was one of the boys, not realizing that unless you're a GS alum, you're never in the club. "If you're at a poker table and you don't see a sucker, it's you."

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:50 | 73815 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

"If you're at a poker table and you don't see a sucker, it's you."

Classic.  Sharks, Otters and Tuna...

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:10 | 73866 Señor Tranche
Señor Tranche's picture

I think Lewis saw the sucker.  The taxpayers.  The Fed did, in fact, "persuade" him to not MAC the transaction, though.  I think that's pretty clear. 

Why the hell would he pay $50b for the acquisition when he could have just as easily let the market open that Monday and build a huge position while MER took the Lehmanesque nosedive on massive volume that everybody knows it would have if not for BAC's offer?  Could have got the company for 90% less.  The answer is because the Fed was backing him (and by backing, I mean standing behind him with a loaded shotgun).

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:36 | 73779 putbuyer
putbuyer's picture

Time for a POLL. Slap on the wrist vs. Jail


I say he skates to his island and eats cake.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:38 | 73786 Mos
Mos's picture

Rakoff, Cuomo, and now the FBI.  Sucks to be Lewis with his $165 mil in pay over the last five years (

Surely no middle class American would want to trade places with him...

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:38 | 73787 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Oh, really? Ben is going to set the allowance for Lewis, Dimon, Lord Blankfein, et al?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:43 | 73801 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Poor Lewis realized too late that the main thing the Ivy League teaches is how to lie, lie, lie. How to make it central to your life and career. How to do it for fun and profit. To make it not something to do as a last resort, but as a first resort, to keep in practice. But when (no longer if) he goes down, when he's got nothing left to protect, he's going to have some interesting stories to tell about this episode. Lots of people probably warming up the discrediting machines now. I wonder if Thain's very recent utter ubiquity is related at all.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:48 | 73810 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

"Looks like the SEC will have a tough time getting off the hook on this one"

Ha.  The SEC could care less how it looks.  It may will use this investigation as cover in an attempt to seek a continuance so that the separate investigations do not compromise each other before the bar of federal justice. I doubt Judge Rakoff will go for it, but the SEC only did this case for cosmetic reasons to begin with and the foundation is caking up on them.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:57 | 73834 putbuyer
putbuyer's picture

They are red-faced after the Bernie make-off crap,

so now they want to look like they are doing their


Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:49 | 73814 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

On a more sinister yet somber note, banker suicides will be ramping up. Some deaths are murders, well covered up by the police and political authorities. Shed no tears, except for murder victims. The public might not ever be aware of the difference. Rockefeller & Co has $25 billion of assets under administration. Its CEO James McDonald died of an apparent suicide in Massachusetts this week from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Let it be known the elite bankers have lost control. This is just the beginning. Many take the exit stage left in lieu of shameful prosecutions and bankruptcy. A few months ago the head of Bank Julius Baer in Zurich committed suicide. Others will be killed for knowing too much about fraudulent money trails, made to look like suicides. The Freddie Mac Chief Financial Officer death this summer was a clear syndicate murder in my view. We the people might never know which people are victims and which are scummy figures who take their own lives after seeing their power and prestige vanish. See the Bloomberg article (CLICK HERE). See a flow chart on McDonald's tentacled relationship with the financial world

The list goes on. A Newport Beach financier Danny Pang died at a young age of 42 years after being rushed to a local hospital. The Orange County California coroner's office will determine the cause of death. Pang has been accused by the government of operating a Ponzi scheme and of taking at least $83 million in inflated fees, salary and loans from his investment firm before it was seized by federal regulators in April. He had denied wrongdoing. See the LATimes article (CLICK HERE). Financier Finn Casperson was found dead in apparent suicide. The ex-CEO of Beneficial Corp, Casperson was found behind an office building in Westerly Rhode Island, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In addition to philanthropic ventures, Casperson was an accomplished equestrian (he rode horses while wearing funny suits). See the Inquisitr article (CLICK HERE). The last story is mixed with politics. Police are investigating the death of the former chief fundraiser for ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Financier Christopher Kelly told police shortly before he died Saturday that he took an 'overdose of drugs' after a recent surgery. Toxicology results will not be available for some time. Blagojevich blamed the government for Kelly's death. He said to CNN, "I do not know any more than you know, except that a friend of mine took his life because he refused to submit to the pressure by the government to lie about me." Blago knew far too much about Obama's shady past in Chicago, related to Clinton, Arkansas banks, and Fannie Mae frauds, and had to be taken down. See the CNN article (CLICK HERE).

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 16:16 | 74436 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

I strongly suspect the suicide of the Freddie Mac CFO was the real deal.  He was on the up-and-up, simply wasn't aware of the actual financial condition (can you say fraud??) at Freddie, and when he realized all those seemingly innocuous items he'd been convinced to sign off on could come back to haunt him, and realized the endless black hole of Freddie's finances, he took a one-time way out (very sad).

Now, those "suicides" of the ABN Amro CFO fellow in England, along with that young trader on the Deutsche Bank - London branch desk (as "witnessed" by David Langer) are questionable.  (And hadn't that young trader interned for that same CFO at ABN Amro when he attended  Oxford?)

David Langer?  Would he be the son of Marshall Langer, the tax attorney who was one of the original architects of tax havens in Bermuda and the Caymans back in the '60s?

And isn't he the uncle of that guy, Richard or Robert Langer (americans for prosperity) who promoted that teabagging nonsense in America?  Funny how that always works out that way.......

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:52 | 73819 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Here is an apropos quote that Paulson said.  When you are boiling in oil, it doesn't matter what the temperature is.

Lewis is probably locked in his office, drinking heavily and polishing his 357. 

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:52 | 73820 orange juice
orange juice's picture

I just don't get it, did the SEC not get enough money to properly investigate the case or what?  This sounds more and more like three stooges of finance except larry and moe have managed to pin the tail successfully on curly who is going to eat big c@ck for the next 15 years while he gets shuffled from one secret prison to the next wondering what would have happened had he kept his mouth shut

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:54 | 73824 waterdog
waterdog's picture

No sleep for any of them. Geithner controls the SEC. He completed the deal with BoA.

Imagine having to depend on Geithner's testimony to save one's butt. Not only is he never on the same page as Bernanke and Paulson, he is usually not on the same planet.

The problem with Geithner is, when you try to coach him about the lie you need him to support, he lies about the lie when it is time to deliver.

I do not understand why Obama did not require Bernanke to answer those famous two questions that have led to the audit of the Fed. Obama could have removed Bernanke at anytime. Obama is Bernanke's boss. Also, why did Obama reappoint Bernanke in September, when he could have waited until December? What was the rush?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:20 | 73876 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Your post just sent me into a daydream/fantasy.

What if he kept Ben in there because he knew this was all going to be coming at Lewis?  In fact it is the plan. Lewis rolls over big and implicates both Paulson and Big Ben. Back room deal with the president, so they go easy on Lewis. Obama does not look like he is not backing his man, other Goldmanites don't come after him.

Obama sets B & P up for a gorgeous kill and a major housekeeping sweep. How else to get rid of the blood sucking leaches but to let them suck so long and hard until they blow themselves up.

A girl can dream, can't she?


Fri, 09/18/2009 - 18:32 | 73974 deadhead
deadhead's picture

Deviant (could not resist!) you are indeed....

your dream is possible and I really do want to think more about it. 

Once Judge Rakoff shit on the settlement (aka the originally agreed upon deal where Lewis doesn't invoke mac, Paulson/Bernanke agree to cover his ass, Geithner tells the SEC to settle, everyone home clear) the bell could not be unrung.  The NY AG steps in, that ringing bell gets louder and really can't be unrung. Now the FBI........ I could see rahm dreaming this up for obama and it is in fact a great way for Obama to get rid of Bernanke.  If so, Larry Summers would be so excited that he would be spilling those fucking diet cokes all over himself.


Fri, 09/18/2009 - 19:22 | 74038 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

I'm loving the way both you and MsCreant think on this, DH. I have to add, anything to get rid of Ben is worth dreaming about.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 19:48 | 74060 deadhead
deadhead's picture

i may retract my thought about rahm thinking this up.  don't get me wrong, he is probably the most devious little prick inside the beltway.

however, ole larry has the rep of having the most cranial neurons in the room and he wants the Fed job more than a half dozen fresh jelly donuts.....

summers coaches waterboy tim and "tell me what to do" mary schapiro to honor the deal with lewis by the usual sec settlement deal, but convinces them to make it so egregiously light and obvious that any US Dist Court Judge would likely question it. bingo, bell is rung.  larry then gets the message to future NY Gov Cuomo that he has a surefire seat to Albany if he presses an investigation. bingo.  naturally, it would be pretty easy for larry to get the fbi crawling around, which makes this whole fiasco sexy and gets the msm involved. 

i can't see how bernanke can walk away from this impending matter untainted.  bernie sanders in the senate (among others) will have an orgiastic field day skewering bernanke, ron paul will go ballistic with his followers, the HuffPo house of the obama messiah worshippers would do anything to get rid of any wall streeter, and bernanke will become such a liability, that obama will be forced to abandon him. as we are fast approaching the beginning of a new Fed chair term, all that built up hatred for what an asshole summers is will fade aside in the interests of urgency and larry can become fed chairman.  naturally, he will immediately begin QE v.2 as prearranged with rahm and there will be so much new money printed that the dems will coast into the mid terms no matter how bad things are.

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 01:22 | 74252 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Volcker not Summers is calling the shots on this particular playing field. And it's all WWF anyway.

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 07:43 | 74325 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Brilliant. Truly. Makes sense.  As long as Paulson goes too  - and in your scenario he's just collateral damage. 

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 08:33 | 74335 deadhead
deadhead's picture

Ned said: "

Agreed and please connect the simple, factual dots: (1) there is no doubt a crime was committed (the BofA proxy solicitation and intentional and deliberate failure to disclose  = securities fraud) and (2) there was a conspiracy among Lewis, the BofA Board, Paulson and Bernanke to carry it out, i.e., to facilitate it.  Bingo.  Done. Ring the bell. It's not complicated here, gang. Jail time for all.  But Lewis can get complete or partial immunity, or simply plead to a lesser charge.

Will Obama pardon P & B?"

I saw this last nite Ned...this really caught my eye.  I absolutely agree with you and think that this is exactly what happened.  If this plays out, what a shitstorm, particularly on the Bernanke/Fed end.  Agree wholeheartedly on Paulson, particularly given the fact that as the Treasury Secy of the United States, he absolutely let the GS conflict impact his decisions and that is deplorable. 

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 13:39 | 74401 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Nice Job DH! Your connect the dots are just the facts, straight up, no tin hat needed. I am inspired to dream even more. The shit storm of the Bernanke/Fed end of things gets so bad that they really do audit the Fed. To many bells ringing. Is is possible for Cuomo to come at it from a criminal angle and push that cause? That might get you elected president, never mind Govenor.

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 17:40 | 74476 deadhead
deadhead's picture

thank you MsCreant...I think Ned's paragraph that I pasted in this thread says it all and is absolutely an elegant summary: I wish I had written it!

sgt doom...i hear you on the derivatives and yes, there is certainly some deadly potential there and clearly that is an action spot.  so is the bac matter and the potential that a former T secy and current (renominated) Fed Chairman might be found to be in an illegal conspiracy with one of the US' largest financial institution.

there are lots (too many) of negative action spots.  as to which one takes priority, i respect all opinions. 

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 13:44 | 74403 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Thanks to Ned for the insight, too.

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 16:19 | 74439 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

DH, you're still wallowing among those thousand points of confusion.  GS, JPM and Morgan Stanley -- leaders of the pack, and arbiters of those neverending securitized derivatives of mass destruction.  That's the real action.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 16:57 | 73832 Don Smith
Don Smith's picture

What do you all think of going long SKF at this point?  I know the levered ETF's are primarily day-trading vehicles, but it seems to be the only way to play the potential CRE bomb and bank-stock meltdown without options (which screw you if the market stays up past your expy).

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:01 | 73844 Señor Tranche
Señor Tranche's picture

If you want to take that position (I wouldn't short the financials at this time), at least short a levered long ETF so you get the gains from any volatility on top of the gain from the directional move. 

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:07 | 73858 Don Smith
Don Smith's picture


Thanks for the tip.  I'm not able to short, since I'm looking at a Roth (of course, I could do this in my brokerage account, too, I guess).  How long do you wait to bet against the financials?  I've been loathe to bet against the government and the Fed in this markets, and save for an ass-kicking I took around Easter on an option play the day before Wells announced their remarkably strong 1Q09 earnings (d'oh!), I've been out of this market altogether. 


I just can't help but feeling that the CRE time bomb has a short fuse and BB isn't going to be able to hide it.  When does it turn?  When does the Option ARM ex(im)plosion hit with enough force to deflate the HFT-based market? 

It's so palpable. So close, I just can't see how to take advantage.  With SKF at 25, (from a high of 250!), it seems I can just hang on for a year and wait for the big fireworks.  Thoughts on a levered long? Or better timing?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:36 | 73899 Señor Tranche
Señor Tranche's picture

Your levered long ETF to short would be UYG (1:1) or FAS (2:1). 

All of your points are logical, but the market isn't.  I don't know when the time to short this market is.  For me defense is the name of the game now.  I've moved into some precious metal positions and I've been buying rolling 3 and 6 month puts on IEF for a while now as inflation insurance.  If you are more worried about deflation, go for some high quality corporate bonds.

As the sayings go:

"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent"

"If you don't know who the idiot at the table is, it's probably you." (I think that "and if the idiot is the government you're screwed anyway" should be added here).

This market is on crack, and there's no knowing when or where it will go.  Your best move may just be to stay on the sidelines. 

Good luck



Fri, 09/18/2009 - 20:21 | 74082 Dogfather
Dogfather's picture

I believe FAS is 3:1...

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 08:36 | 74336 deadhead
deadhead's picture

FAS is definitely 3:1

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 19:50 | 74062 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture


CRE would be better played in the SRS, however, I am worried that the hedge funds are continuing to run out all the shorts. Take SPG for example-it just gets squeezed a litte more everyday--$14 more since Sep 3rd (and realize the SRS had a high of $295 and is now at $9). I think the SRS and URE hit dead even before this rally is over--and they are getting closer every day. You think the SKF can't go lower? It can and the daily reset will screw you. You have to understand the leverage on these things-- you simply cannot buy them long term unless the trend has turned down in a meaningful way and then you still have to be on your toes.  If you insist on being short financials, go with the SEF or another non-leveraged short financial ETF. Or if you can trade options (with vol low right now) buy puts out in 2011 on the XLF or find another nonlevered financial ETF. Yes you pay for time but you sure get the leverage and you can just relax, wait it out, and the most you can lose is the premium.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 22:44 | 74187 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Good points, all. I'm not looking to get in right now, as in Monday, but rather am waiting for "trigger time" and looking for the right play. I know the resets on the 3X ultrashorts can hammer you. I'm also concerned about deterioration of time value in options. It's a tough guess as to the best play to short WFC and BAC and their ilk. I work for USB and feel like we're the only ones honestly reserving and disclosing, and we got our shares hammered for it, but they're coming back. I'm sure that even we have a few surprises in the books, but not anything like the tsunami that is facing Wells. The problem is, I'm terrified the government will proclaim them TBTF and backstop their CRE losses, which is great for Wells, but unfair and punitive to the taxpayer who writes the ultimate check. It's been this type of ridiculous intervention that fueled this whole rally, and I'm not sure I am ready to bet against it until they prove they won't fuck us again.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 22:45 | 74188 Don Smith
Don Smith's picture

Good points, all.  I'm not looking to get in right now, as in Monday, but rather am waiting for "trigger time" and looking for the right play.  I know the resets on the 3X ultrashorts can hammer you.  I'm also concerned about deterioration of time value in options.  It's a tough guess as to the best play to short WFC and BAC and their ilk.  I work for USB and feel like we're the only ones honestly reserving and disclosing, and we got our shares hammered for it, but they're coming back.  I'm sure that even we have a few surprises in the books, but not anything like the tsunami that is facing Wells.  The problem is, I'm terrified the government will proclaim them TBTF and backstop their CRE losses, which is great for Wells, but unfair and punitive to the taxpayer who writes the ultimate check.  It's been this type of ridiculous intervention that fueled this whole rally, and I'm not sure I am ready to bet against it until they prove they won't fuck us again.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:07 | 73857 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I tried this and you just get pummeled day to day. The down-market days, you do get an uptick in SKF, but not enough to make up the losses. The only thing you're holding on for is the Big Event. But that's been predicted for months. I'm starting to think it won't come until next year.

So how long do you want to hold, and how much deterioration can you stomach waiting for the Big One that seems to be taking its time?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:08 | 73861 putbuyer
putbuyer's picture

I am big fan of SRS and SKF calls.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:08 | 73862 waterdog
waterdog's picture

I've been in SKF and SDS for a while. J.S. Kim told me to get out but I didn't. Taking a beating on SDS. If you think the recover of the S&P has another year to go, go long SKF. If you have a short attention span and do not listen to the people you pay to tell you what to do, stay short.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:01 | 73847 Zippyin Annapolis
Zippyin Annapolis's picture

There is always the Mayor Marion Barry defense: "da bitch set me up!"

Yes hard for Ken to pull off but with a little bit of coaching...

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:04 | 73853 max2205
max2205's picture

This is all to heal C, look for a too fucking awesome to fail merger; C and BAC. Whew!

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:29 | 73891 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

CitiAmerica --Hey that works for me. They can just make a new sign, but the Mets will still suck.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:06 | 73855 AR
AR's picture

In the end, don't be surprised if Lewis doesn't finally come out and points the finger straight at Paulsen & Bernanke. We have been hearing for months that there was a lot more pressure put on Lewis than what's been disclosed. Paulsen & Bernanke BOTH made sure Lewis and his board would NOT ever invoke the Merrill MAC, and delay the deal. The whole situation shows -- and confirms exactly what we are seeing in the markets today -- that the Fed, Treasury, and other government agencies involved, are completely inept at dealing with and/or solving this crisis.  Extreme pressure was exerted on Lewis by government to do this deal, and also close it December 5th with shareholder approval. Paulsen & Bernanke (as shown) could cares less about shareholders or the average U.S. citizen. That is why it is absolutely critical that Bill S.604 "Audit the Fed" gets passed. 

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:13 | 73868 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I don't see what Lewis has to lose, once the water gets up to his neck, by diming out Paulson. I suppose he might open himself up to an additional perjury charge for his congressional testimony when he said he wasn't pressured into the deal.

I think he should feel legitimately pissed off and want to get the facts straight. If you were a CEO, and the Feds said "you're going to do this deal that's ill-advised for your company and shareholders" and less than a year later your looking at a criminal investigation stemming from it, wouldn't you want to dime out every other mofo who was involved? I would.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 19:42 | 74055 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Agreed and please connect the simple, factual dots: (1) there is no doubt a crime was committed (the BofA proxy solicitation and intentional and deliberate failure to disclose  = securities fraud) and (2) there was a conspiracy among Lewis, the BofA Board, Paulson and Bernanke to carry it out, i.e., to facilitate it.  Bingo.  Done. Ring the bell. It's not complicated here, gang. Jail time for all.  But Lewis can get complete or partial immunity, or simply plead to a lesser charge.

Will Obama pardon P & B?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 22:15 | 74173 deadhead
deadhead's picture

thank you for your insight Ned.  wow.

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 13:44 | 74404 MsCreant
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Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:07 | 73860 Anonymous
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i cant believe zerohedge is falling for this horse and pony show...until some of these crooks are literally behind bars...this is all so zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

and ken lewis is just a scapegoat...i want to see criminal indictments against the federal reserve and treasury and congress...i don't think even the FBI has the balls to do that. i bet if that happens, congress will pass a bill overnight to declare the FBI is no longer has any legal authority.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 18:36 | 73977 deadhead
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"i cant believe zerohedge is falling for this horse and pony show...until some of these crooks are literally behind bars...this is all so zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..."

Umm, you see, in America, you kinda gotta go through this thing called due process. 


Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:16 | 73872 Anonymous
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guess what, it doesn't matter. all these guys involved in the bailout are bigger than any of this shit. cuomo would have been much better off trying to convict kennedy at chappaquiddick.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 17:22 | 73879 AnonymousMonetarist
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Bene. Don Paulson. I need a man who has powerful friends. I need many billions of dollars in cash. I need, Don Paulson, those regulators that you carry in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 18:09 | 73948 Anonymous
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>>#73814. To follow up, in one of the consperacy sights,there was a story about the russian ship. Granted the story was a complete movie script in my opinion,but what drew my attention is the death of four very rich people,all within the span of two weeks,which I find highly suspecious.The Chinese ponzi scammer from Ca,the Rockfeller investmnet guy,and another two. I find this statisically improbable,and highly suspecious. May be our friend here (TD)would care to have an article about that issue(with stats if available)...............

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 19:36 | 74051 Ned Zeppelin
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Let it play out.  Rakoff (a rare man of principle - by the way, where's the backdoor MSM campaign to discredit him as a "whackjob," woulda thought we'd see that by now) has set the stage, and it is up to Cuomo to ask the hard questions.   Lewis would be an idiot not to offer up evidence that he was threatened into participating in a civil and criminal conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and that Paulson was the henchman behind it.  A whispered promise of (illegal) government protection from Paulson is very plausible.  Do we even know why Paulson was adamant about forcing the Merrill deal, when he had such a rough night before letting Lehman fall into the abyss? Would love to get to the bottom of that under oath.

Andrew - we are counting on you, Warren, Black and rest of The New Untouchables to stop this crime wave in Gotham.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 20:34 | 74093 Careless Whisper
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One can only speculate that GS was on the winning end of some derivatives that MER had to pay.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 20:06 | 74078 mkkby
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Audit the fed -- what a joke!  They'll audit the fed and it'll come up roses.  The market will rally because of how much profit they made with taxpayer money.  All you wishful thinkers have no idea how deep the corruption goes.  Nobody wants to rock the boat because ultimately they'd be sinking their own yaht.

Congress is in bed with the banks, and both are in bed with the media.  You'll hear what they want you to hear.


Sat, 09/19/2009 - 16:51 | 74449 Zippyin Annapolis
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Fri, 09/18/2009 - 20:30 | 74089 AN0NYM0US
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So Ken and friends will be  pilloried while Mary pats herself on the back for the proposal to ban Flash Trading; meanwhile  the economic recovery (as evidenced by the markets) roars on according to the media, and all is well with the world. 


IMO Kenny ain't the problem.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 20:54 | 74104 Sqworl
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iRobot aka Thain spoke to a college today and blew his wad....

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 21:42 | 74153 Anonymous
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From the inside out, let me tell you that Ken and BAC have always been "wanna-bes" in the financial world. They are from Charlotte, Texas, California, and all those unwashed places. NOT a part of the NYC crowd. No accident that BAC hq in Charlotte looks just like a marble version of the Chrysler Building, or that BAC moved to Midtown when it came to NYC, instead of Lower Manhattan. They bought Fleet in Boston, another black mark.

Wells has the protection of Uncle Warren, BAC does not. There are forces that are quite willing to take out BAC, given half a chance. I hope it all turns on them. Ken Lewis, at the bottom, is about as honorable as it gets in this crazy business, and was set up from day 1. They used his wish for getting into the "inner circle" against him.

He has taken bullets under oath for the benefit of Merrill, the country, the gov't, and the Fed. I hope he stops doing so, soon, if this is going to continue down this path.


Sat, 09/19/2009 - 01:08 | 74244 Anonymous
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well, like I said a couple of months ago, the provision for the SEC was already in the bonus bill in December, at least $50 Mil.
guess where did the rest $17 mil go?
hint: they went to some three offshore accounts, somehow related to Shapiro's family. yeah, that's how the game is played.

did you see today Mary - a dumb and innocent sheep, at Georgetown University. I bet she has no idea how to use a laptop, let alone that HFT thing.

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 10:17 | 74358 River Tam
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Sleep? He dont need no friggin sleep. He a tough guy!

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 13:21 | 74396 DaddyWarbucks
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Help me out here. This is the same FBI that for decades told us there was no organized crime in the U.S. until a New York state trooper busted some goodfellas in upstate? The same group of Hoover pin up boys that spent their careers gathering embarrassing files on every congressman? Pardon me if I don't hold my breath.

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 18:47 | 74520 Anonymous
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This bit of news is rather strange. 6months ago when FBI started this investigation we were in the abyss and near a cliff dive (ie March 2009). BAC stock was $3bucks and looking like it was about to go default. Then PPT with its QE started its massive market manipulation run, and FASB overturned the mark to market rule. Does anyone else smell an Enron-isk scandal with BAC? I wouldnt think FBI would spend 6months on investigating the merrill bonus non-disclosure issue. Thats too easy. Im inclined to think its much bigger. Maybe some BAC toxic asset blew up, we yet dont know about?

Wed, 09/23/2009 - 00:50 | 77070 MsCreant
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This sounds like a sensible possibility.

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 21:11 | 75058 Anonymous
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BAC at its core was fairly solid with its assets, at least compared to its peers. Countrywide and Merrill may have imported some bad stuff onto the books. Make that--certainly brought a lot of bad stuff to the books.

There is nothing Enron-like at BAC that isn't as bad or worse at the other firms. Look hard and you will find some criminal-level stuff high up at all the firms. But the leadership of the other firms isn't on the verge of taking down Ben and Paul and Tim like Ken is. So the feds are protecting their own and going after the most dangerous--and least bought off--guy. They have to make Ken so radioactive that his future testimony has no bite. On another front, Countrywide has the goods on a lot of Senators and Congressmen. That has to be neutralized, too. This is going to get real interesting very soon.


Wed, 09/23/2009 - 00:49 | 77069 MsCreant
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This was freedom.  Losing all hope was freedom.  ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 2

Ken, sweetheart, turn states evidence against them all...light the fuse, let go, quit trying to prop it all up. We can all go to hell together. At least hell has a pure burn to it, don't ya think? Redemption is at hand if you just have the courage to see and acknowledge the truth.

Sleep well Ken.

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