Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bank of America needs to Pay Back the TARP already

Well, their CEO may have just worked the entire year up until this point for free.

For instance, reports surfaced late Thursday afternoon that the Obama administration's pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, cracked the whip on outgoing CEO Ken Lewis, who agreed to not take any salary or bonus in 2009. It was just the latest twist in a long-running saga over Lewis' questionable decisions related to BofA's purchase of Merrill Lynch. He will still leave with a hefty retirement package after more than 40 years at the bank, including 4.7 million shares at the end of 2008.

You read that right. A person that seems to not have been elected to his post has strong armed the CEO of the largest bank in America to not receive pay and bonuses that he was contractually obligated to take. If Ken Lewis was the kind of guy that did not care about bad publicity he should sue for breach of contract.

In any case that TARP money is like a shackle and the government can pretty much dictate who lives or dies. No wonder Goldman tried to pay that money back on the first day that they could. They rightly feared TARP slavery.

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