Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bank Of America Claims It Did Not Engage in Superbowl Carnival

Bank of Countrywide Lynch came out with a surprising release earlier in which it defended itself from media allegations that it had spent $10 million of TARP money on a 5 day Super Bowl carnival and that senior management was in fact not at the 20 yard line (cheering the Cardinals). Talk about having to get something off your chest and reacting a little excessively to some innocent rumors - not like some SVP in IB (one of the 3 left) was caught in a $35,000 port-a-potty with his pants around his ankles as he was instructing some Playboy playmate how to fill out a mortgage application. After all Ken Lewis was merely "concerned about the academic and physical fitness programs for at-risk youth in the Tampa area."

Anyway, the full letter which just reeks of a guilty conscience here for your reading pleasure:

To: Distribution
Re: Reporting on BAC’s Super Bowl Activities

The attached letter, dated February 3, was distributed to a number of select news outlets following stories that have created an inaccurate impression about the extent of the bank’s involvement at this year’s Super Bowl. The continued misinformation in additional editorial accounts of our activities have required us to more broadly distribute this letter.

February 3, 2009

Your recent story about Bank of America’s activities at this year’s Super Bowl, we believe, may have created an inaccurate impression among your readers and viewers about the extent of our involvement, and we wanted to take this opportunity to provide the following clarification:

- Bank of America did not spend $10 million on the Super Bowl or use federal TARP funding for activities at the Super Bowl.

- We did not host a five-day NFL “carnival” as portrayed in some news accounts.

- And senior management of the company did not attend the Super Bowl.

Rather, we have a multi-million dollar business relationship with the NFL that generates millions of dollars in revenue for the bank through the sales of checking, savings and credit card accounts, commercial lending, cash management and wealth management. Our relationship with the NFL is a carefully managed and heavily evaluated business that generates profits for our shareholders that are many multiples of what we pay the NFL.

The NFL Experience, which was at the center of these reports, is an NFL-owned event which Bank of America sponsored to give local families in the Tampa Bay area an opportunity to participate in the excitement of the Super Bowl. A portion of the proceeds were donated through the NFL to support academic and physical fitness programs for at-risk youth in the Tampa area.

Typically, these are numbers that we don’t provide for competitive reasons. However, the extent of misinformation and the impressions left by your report and other news accounts required further clarification.

We appreciate this opportunity to provide additional clarity.

(bjh) NY

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