Friday, October 2, 2009

Can Ken Lewis take the fall for all of this? Bank of America.

It’s hard to find television this entertaining; I mean, really.

Ken Lewis announced his resignation as CEO of BofA on Tuesday. Although sometime in 2010* is indicated as his end-date, there is no conclusive date yet. Too, no successor has been named (although a CEO Committee is being formed today). The Board certainly must have been anticipating this, as they only met last week to discuss the escalating legal issues facing the company – and Lewis - as a Congressional deadline for more information came and went with a tardy BofA response (they’re submitting more documents to the House Comm. on Oversight and Gov. Reform). (Teaser: commentators at CorporateCounsel actually think the federal government didn’t bully BofA into the merger, but that BofA in fact bullied the federal government).

Congress isn’t the only dog in this park, though. There are a number of state suits moving ahead against BofA, including NYAG Cuomo, NCAG Cooper, and OHAG Cordray (filed in S.D.N.Y. and moving quickly). There are a number of federal investigations moving against BofA, including the SEC and an alleged DOJ and FBI criminal investigation. There is also (and what I suspect to be only the beginning) a number of civil suits: including the dead-in-the-water suit seeking 1,784 billion trillion in damages, the class action by Wolf Popper, the shareholder suit in Kansas

Had enough?

As regards the SEC matter, both the government and BofA filed a case management plan last week that stipulates a February trial date. BofA also submitted trial filings last Friday, available here via AmLawDaily (their response remains consistent throughout the several briefs in the matter: we did nothing wrong). Apart from a trial, commentators have speculated the parties could submit a new settlement to Judge Rakoff, appeal Rakoff’s September decision, or the SEC could either drop the complaint altogether or proceed with an administrative hearing.

*UPDATE added 10/02/2009 at 2pm: Lewis originally intended to continue as CEO until the end of 2010, but is now apparent he will hold his executive position only until the end of 2009.

Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images via WSJ.

I'm reading: Can Ken Lewis take the fall for all of this? Bank of America.Tweet this!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Discussion and feedback is encouraged, but civility and professionalism will be maintained by administrative censoring of abusive or off-topic comments. Thank you.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.