In the continuation of the BofA-Merrill saga, today came as a surprise to many when BofA reports to the office of NY AG Andrew Cuomo that it will be revealing the details of the conversation between BofA executives and its legal counsel at a time when the Merrill deal was being finalized… and the losses were mounting. It’s just sensible for the shareholders to vote yea on that. After all, that’s one way of getting rid of Lewis and perhaps also ensuring that an insider, Brian Moynihan does not become Lewis replacement when he steps down as CEO at the end of the year.
An excerpt from the NYT story:
The stunning reversal, approved by the board Friday, removes a major hurdle in resolving a number of cases that have been brought against the bank, and may be part of the bank’s strategy to try to exonerate several executives, including its retiring chief, Kenneth D. Lewis.
Alternatively, it could provide fresh evidence of the role that the bank’s lawyers and executives played in failing to reveal losses at Merrill Lynch and bonuses Merrill paid out before the firms sealed their ill-fated merger.
The disclosures may reveal the advice the bank received on the merger from its longtime law firm, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, as well as two general counsels: Timothy Mayopoulos, who was unexpectedly dismissed late last year, and Brian Moynihan, a senior executive who has emerged as a leading contender to replace Mr. Lewis. Several state attorneys general, Congressional lawmakers and regulators have been pressing the bank to reveal how its lawyers advised executives to deal with the disclosure of the losses and bonuses. Bank of America has faced intense scrutiny since receiving a $45 billion taxpayer lifeline.