Steve Schwarzman: "Brian Moynihan Is In Firefighter Mode"

steve schwarzman brian moynihan

In the opinion of PE titan Steve Schwarzman, BofA chief Brian Moynihan is surrounded by flames. 

In a Bloomberg profile of Moynihan, the Blackstone CEO said:

“Brian’s got his hands totally full dealing with the internal issues and the external focus on some of the problems of the company. He is in firefighter mode, dealing with fires that will be contained but need attention.”

But despite these fires – Countrywide fallout; Wikileaks threats; soured mortgages and putback demands – Schwarzman actually likes BofA.

In fact he thinks the bank’s investment-banking and brokerage businesses “will help make Bank of America ‘very formidable’ in three to five years.”

The i-banking division is run by Tom Montag and its earnings increased by 16% last year, netting the business $5.6 billion in the first three quarters of 2010.

The brokerage business is run by Sallie Krawcheck – who, incidentally, is battling issues of her own – and  posted a profit of $1.1 billion.

Schwarzman isn’t the only one bullish on BofA either. Dick Bove thinks the bank’s share price could hit $32.

Maybe if he’s lucky, fireman Brian will take a back seat to regular Brian in 2011.

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