“Screw the shareholders!!’’

15 Oct
October 15, 2009

"Screw You.," typed Bank of America Board Member Thomas May  on January 15th to his
friend and fellow Board Member Chad Gifford, during a teleconference
among directors and executives.

"Unfortunately it’s screw the shareholders!!," was Gifford's retort.  The timing of the response may not have been the best.  The Bank just announced that the quarterly dividend to shareholders was being cut to just one cent from 32 cents.

"No trail," May replied to Gifford, it what apparently came as a reminder.  But, it was too late.  The email exchange was submitted to the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as part of ongoing
investigations into the circumstances surrounding the Merrill deal.  (Wall Street Journal has the full text of the email exchange.)

The entire exchange shows a rare insight into the relationships between high level Board members.  But, it is now part of a current investigation into the Merrill deal.  Did these guys make an innocent off-hand remark?  Or did they know something about the deal that shareholders did not know about?  The investigation as to intent will now begin.

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