Ken Lewis’s symbolic pay cut

By Felix Salmon
October 16, 2009
cut to Ken Lewis's 2009 payout:

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I love the fact that Kenneth Feinberg has made his largely symbolic cut to Ken Lewis’s 2009 payout:

At U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg’s request, Lewis will not receive the $1.5 million salary he was slated to make this year, company spokesman Bob Stickler on Thursday. Lewis will not receive a bonus or any other payments for 2009…

A breakdown of Lewis’s outgoing compensation shows that he is expecting about $53 million of pension benefits from an account frozen years ago and another $72 million of accrued and deferred stock compensation.

Obviously, money is fungible, and Lewis’s $1.5 million in salary was just going to be the cherry on top of the other $125 million he’s managing to walk home with upon departing BofA. Since Feinberg had no real jurisdiction over the big lump sum due Lewis, he just decided to bring the sum he could control down to zero.

Lewis clearly isn’t running BofA well — in the current interest-rate environment, it’s actually really quite difficult for a bank to have racked up a billion-dollar loss last quarter, even after $2.2 billion in Merrill Lynch profits. Any pay that Lewis gets is not going to be for performance.

On the other hand, BofA’s loss, coming as it does on the heels of similar results at Citigroup, shows that times remain very tough in the real world west of the Hudson River. And that’s something the stock-market bulls, and the Goldman Sachs plutocrats, would do well to remember.

Comments
4 comments so far

hey business insider says yr going to the atlantic – comment?

Posted by j1mmy | Report as abusive

Times are tough on this side of the Hudson too!

So you have any idea how many jobs have been lost in NYC as a result of this debacle, the fall of Lehman and so on?

Not to mention the hatchet job John Thain did on NYSE during his tenure there, before it got taken over by Euronext. One thing is for sure, its European owners are NOT going to fire their own staff.

So there is going to be a lot more pain on the Street before it ever starts its upturn for anyone. Sure, the DOW is over 10000, but what about jobs-unemployment is predicted to keep on rising well into next year. Brace for it.

Ken Lewis…Ken Lay…What a difference. BofA is putting together multiple billions in bonus money this year and Ken Feinberg ought to be taking care of that right along with 2 other toppers that combined with BofA equal 75Bn in bonus money to be paid out to pickpockets and theives that could care less if the GDP goes to hell west or sideways. Easier picking carcasses than earning it. None has shown the slightes embarrassment over TARP propping up their tents. They ought yo be taxed at 111%.

Posted by DanO | Report as abusive

I know I won’t be satisfied until I see OLD MONEY in jail.

Posted by Hilary | Report as abusive
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