Ken Lewis: John Thain Exercised Poor Judgement (BAC)

Well, yes, of course he did.  And it’s apparently a common affliction at Bank of America (BAC).

WSJ: Bank of America had lost confidence in Mr. Thain, this person said, after Mr. Lewis learned of mounting fourth-quarter losses at Merrill from the transition team handling the Bank of America-Merrill merger rather than from Mr. Thain himself. And when Mr. Lewis asked Mr. Thain what happened, the Bank of America CEO did not get a “good explanation for what was happening and why,” this person said.

The Bank of America CEO also concluded Mr. Thain has exercised “poor judgment” on a number of fronts. He left for a vacation in Vail, Colo., after the losses came to light, bonus payments at Merrill were accelerated so they could be collected before the end of the year and Mr. Thain had planned to fly this week to Davos, Switzerland, even though Bank of America had signaled that such a trip was not a good idea, this person said.

Going to Vail while his company was losing billions?  Going to Davos when such excesses are frowned upon?  Annoying!  But not the poor judgement that destroyed Bank of America.

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