Chaotic BofA

By Felix Salmon
September 9, 2009
o fire its own general counsel at the very point at which the acquisition was at its messiest, but also to do so in the most abrupt and inexplicable manner. The lawyer in question, Timothy Mayopoulos, is now the general counsel of Fannie Mae: he seemed to get that job quite easily in the wake of his high-profile defenestration. It's all very odd, and even Andrew Cuomo, armed with subpoenas, seems to be incapable of getting to the bottom of what exactly happened and why.

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How dysfunctional was Bank of America around the time of the Merrill Lynch acquisition? Dysfunctional enough that it felt the need not only to fire its own general counsel at the very point at which the acquisition was at its messiest, but also to do so in the most abrupt and inexplicable manner. The lawyer in question, Timothy Mayopoulos, is now the general counsel of Fannie Mae: he seemed to get that job quite easily in the wake of his high-profile defenestration. It’s all very odd, and even Andrew Cuomo, armed with subpoenas, seems to be incapable of getting to the bottom of what exactly happened and why.

What’s clear is that the upper echelons of the largest bank in the country have been in a state of chaos for some time, and that Bank of America’s board, in particular, is doing absolutely nothing to rectify the situation. Where the board has failed, regulators have to step in: this can’t continue indefinitely.

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