The Great Debate

from Commentaries:

Failing upwards at BofA

goldsteinThe ouster of Bank of America's chief risk officer, Amy Woods Brinkley, should not cause anyone to shed any tears.

Even though Brinkley was one of the few top female executives working on Wall Street, her departure is well deserved and has nothing to with gender inequality in the world of finance as some might suggest.

It's all about failure, and there's been plenty of that at BofA, in light of the more than $150 billion in bailout money and loan guarantees U.S. taxpayers have had to float the nation's largest bank by assets.

Presumably, Brinkley signed off on BofA's disastrous move into collateralized debt obligation underwriting on the eve of the mortgage meltdown.

A case in point is the ill-fated $4 billion CDO that the bank packaged and sold for two Bear Stearns hedge funds a month before the funds' collapse in June 2007.

New BofA chairman must prove independence

bofa– Jonathan Ford is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Shareholders in Bank of America must be hugging themselves at their sheer audacity. They have plucked up the courage to say boo to Ken Lewis, the bank’s all-powerful chairman and chief executive.

A shareholder vote on April 29 forced Lewis to relinquish the first of those roles to an “independent chairman”. This role will now be taken by Walter Massey.