Felix Salmon

Let’s cut Ken Lewis’s payout

By Felix Salmon
October 8, 2009

Millions of Americans know that Bank of America doesn’t care about numbers in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. It seems the government is in a similar situation:

A Bank of America spokesman disputed both the SEIU’s figures – noting the bank received only $45 billion in public assistance.

Yeah, a mere $45 billion. When the numbers are so microscopic, why should anybody pay attention to $126 million (more or less: after all, these values are all of negligible consequence) which is due to be trousered by Ken Lewis upon his departure?

As for me, I like the idea of Kenneth Feinberg cracking down on Lewis’s payout. BofA isn’t paying for performance, and it’s not like the bank needs has any worries about Lewis disappearing off to a higher-paying rival. The bank’s hilarious attempts to downplay the scale of BofA’s bailout — and of Lewis’s package — only prove how easy this decision really is.

2 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

only $45 billion—it really seems to be a total ‘attitude’ of financial firms over here –in the good ol’ u.s.a.—screaming about any regulation will make it so hard for ‘innovation’–yet, their innovation is why we’re here in the first place! i read yesterday that hsbc thinks the banks should apologize to the world for getting all of us into all this trouble–i was shocked! so for ken lewis to ‘earn’ $126 million–sure that’s small compared to $45 billion, but since bofa is still standing, how about he keeps $10 million and shares the remainder with food banks in every state to help people that have gone bust???

Posted by f. l. smith | Report as abusive

Absolutely right, Felix.

No other $45B turnaround investor would allow this payment. None in the whole gdamn world, with the exception of Russia for a personal friend of Vladimir.

Ken Lewis failed. $10M for failure is more than enough. To restore capitalism, we need to establish that you get rich for succeeding, and only for succeeding. Period.

Posted by Dollared | Report as abusive

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