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Michael Whitney, SEIU

Michael Whitney, SEIU
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  • BAC: Ken Lewis & Bank of America [View instapost]
    It’s up for debate for what to do with Ken Lewis. Authorities can arrest Ken Lewis. Stockholders can sue him. Directors can fire him. He took one of the nation’s leading banks and ran it into the ground. He made risky bets with others’ money and stuck taxpayers with the tab when his bets went sour.

    But Ken Lewis’s sins are just symptoms of a wider pandemic within the financial sector—greed. Wall Street’s compensation structures reward excessive risk-taking, up and down the corporate ladder. Bank of America workers report that their pay is dependent on how much debt they can push onto consumers, regardless of a customer’s ability to pay it back. They are afraid to speak out against these predatory policies.

    We need to turn the Wall Street compensation structure on its head. Bank employees should be rewarded for promoting the safety and soundness of the economy and helping Americans accumulate wealth, not for greed. They should have the protections they need to come forth and speak out when they see their institutions putting short-term profits before the stability of the financial system.

    Ken Lewis can be arrested, sued, and fired for his greedy and excessively risky business practices. But unless we get meaningful financial reform, the next Ken Lewis will be free to make the same disastrous mistakes all over again and the saga will continue.
    Jun 22, 2009. 05:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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