Monday, February 23, 2009

Cuomo Pitting Thain Vs Lewis, One Of The Two To Be In Big Legal Trouble

Turns out NY AG Cuomo is pretty smart: he is seeking a court order that will force Thain to testify as to what really happened in early December when Merrill bonuses were paid out ahead of posting a huge loss, or otherwise he will hold the former Merrill chief contempt and possible further legal escalation. Thain has claimed he is worried he would be sued by BofA if he does talk to Cuomo, so the fan of gold-plated commodes is between a rock and very angry attorney general. Cuomo's strategy is likely to catch Lewis in perjury, since the BofA boss claimed in congress - on the record - that he had no control over the whole Merrill bonus fiasco. Gasparino reports that BofA HR chief Andrea Smith in fact had full supervision and control over who gets what among the top 15 people at Merrill, meaning that Lewis could be in very hot water here.

The Thain v Lewis soap opera was just added to our TiVo scheduled programming. Sphere: Related Content
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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you meant Andrea Smith, not Andrew.

Economics of Contempt said...

"Cuomo's strategy is likely to catch Lewis in perjury, since the BofA boss claimed in congress - on the record - that he had no control over the whole Merrill bonus fiasco."
s
Lying in a Congressional committee hearing wouldn't be perjury, but could be obstruction of justice.
s
We don't have nearly enough facts yet, but I suspect Lewis is right that he didn't have the legal authority to block Merrill from paying the bonuses at that point. So I doubt Cuomo's investigation will bear fruit in that regard. Cuomo doesn't have Spitzer's showmanship, but he's been surprisingly entertaining.

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