Kenneth Lewis’ days as chief executive of Bank of America may finally be numbered. Observers and investors say a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission may ultimately cost Lewis the top job at the nation’s largest bank. On Monday, the bank agreed to pay $33 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that Lewis and other executives misled the bank’s investors prior to its $50 billion purchase last year of brokerage firm Merrill Lynch.
It’s been a grim recession for computer companies. First quarter PC shipments were down 8.1% from year ago levels and down 14% from the prior quarter. But that’s what happens in recessions.
It doesn’t feel like it, but we got a raise this week. The plunging price of oil, which prompted OPEC to announce a 1.5 million barrel a day production cut, has put money in the pockets of recession-worried consumers
Eighteen months ago, when the world was awash in asset bubbles, there was perhaps no market more overheated than commodities. Prices of everything from iron ore to palm oil to corn reached dizzying heights.
Police searched Sunday for gunmen who opened fire on an Israeli police vehicle in the West Bank, killing two officers, according to Israeli police. AIG, a recipient of at least $170 billion in federal bailout money , got an $85 billion loan from the Federal Reserve. The list released Sunday of “counterparties” that benefited from the bailout is topped by European banks Societe Generale and Deutsche Bank, which received $4.1 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively.
Bank of America CEO and Chairman Kenneth Lewis has been issued a subpoena by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, which is investigating whether the bank violated state law by withholding information from investors, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been highly critical of Wall Street firms in general and Merrill Lynch in particular for the way they have conducted themselves in the midst of a financial crisis.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has unveiled a new plan to combat the financial crisis: convincing private financial institutions to buy up “toxic assets” with the government’s backing. While this is a step up from former Secretary Henry Paulson’s original bailout planin which the government itself would buy up the bad securitiesit is still not the right approach. Instead, there is a better, cheaper, less risky, more direct way to improve banks’ balance sheets and restore confidence