Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bank of America Ken Lewis to Get No Salary/Bonus for 09

so decided Obama's Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg.

BofA's Ken Lewis to get no '09 salary, bonus
(10/15/09 AP via Yahoo Finance)

"NEW YORK (AP) -- Bank of America Corp.'s outgoing CEO, Ken Lewis, will get no salary or bonus for 2009 under an agreement with the government pay czar, who is scrutinizing compensation at bailed-out banks

"Kenneth Feinberg, the U.S. Treasury Department's special master for compensation, suggested that Lewis should get no pay for the year and Lewis agreed, Bank of America spokesman Robert Stickler said Thursday.

"In fact, Lewis will pay back about $1 million he has received so far out of a $1.5 million annual salary.

""He will write a check to the company," Stickler said.

"The bank spokesman also added that Lewis agreed to the proposal because he felt it was not in the bank's best interest "to get into a dispute with the paymaster.""

The paymaster?? A privately appointed administration's official with no Congressional oversight who is accountable to the president who appointed him is the paymaster whose words are final??
And the public is supposed to cheer for this?

I think it is grossly unfair to Mr. Ken Lewis, soon-to-depart CEO of Bank of America. Why has he been singled out like this? And not Mr. Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citibank, or Mr. John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo? Mr. John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch, over which Ken Lewis was threatened by then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to go forward with the purchase or else?

(And have we heard anything further about this story of a government official threatening a bank CEO? Noooo.)

Or how about the CEO of AIG, the company that has sucked in $180 billion of taxpayers' money?

Totally contrary to the treatment that the Pay Czar Feinberg has dished out to Mr. Lewis, the CEO of AIG, Mr. Robert Benmosche, appears to be in extremely good odor with Pay Czar:

AIG chief gets OK for $10.5 million pay package (10/6/09 CNN Money)

Pay Czar is just doing his job, I believe, of deciding who's been good and who's been bad, who's to be rewarded and who's to be punished, ALL ACCORDING TO HIS DISCRETION. Clearly, Mr. Benmosche is favored over Mr. Lewis, for reasons known only to Pay Czar.

What I don't quite understand is: why should anyone listen to him, even obey his orders?

What would happen if Bank of America protested against the unfair treatment of its CEO? Would Pay Czar direct labor unions and community organizers to picket Bank of America?


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