Kenneth Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, was in Boston yesterday spouting optimism about the current financial crash.
"I believe we are going to break the back of this thing, and I still believe we’ll do it this year," Lewis said of the recession that has settled in. "There is too much ammunition being fired from too many directions not to bring this beast down."
Lewis was talking to the Boston College Chief Executives Club.
Note that Lewis took $45 billion in taxpayer bailout money, and is refusing to assist the investigation of the hefty bonuses Merrill Lynch paid its execs just before Bank of America took over ML.
Lewis also condemned talk of nationalization of the banks.
Such a move would "immediately undermine confidence in the financial system even further and send shudders through the investment community. It would give the false impression that banks are insolvent, and investors would immediately start betting on which banks would be next," Lewis said.
Umm, Kenny, most of the banks involved are insolvent. They don’t have the assets to back up their liabilities. And as for undermining confidence in the financial system that brought on this abysmal mess, other than people like Lewis there aren’t a lot of people being confident about people like him and about the institutions people like him run.
Besides, Lewis has to be optimistic. If he doesn’t act confident, then Bank of America’s stock will join the other big banks down in the penny stock market and he might lose his job and his millions.
So who are you going to trust?
The Lion’s going with Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann.