More rumors about Ken Lewis resigning as CEO of Bank of America. Clusterstock's Joe Weisenthal says a source told him that "active discussions" are under way for Lewis to step aside. Today's WSJ had a profile of Brian Moynihan, now in charge of the Merrill Lynch operations at B of A who would be considered a likely successor. From the Journal:
Despite limited experience on Wall Street and outsider status at Bank of America, joining as part of its 2004 acquisition of FleetBoston Financial Corp., the 49-year-old Mr. Moynihan has been at Mr. Lewis's side at several important moments of the financial crisis, including during a recent high-profile visit to the White House and a mid-December trip to Washington to tell federal regulators the company might back out of its agreement to buy Merrill. Mr. Moynihan did most of the talking at the most recent meeting in March, which included Lawrence Summers, the chief White House economic adviser, people familiar with that meeting said. Afterward, Mr. Summers remarked he was impressed with Mr. Moynihan, a person familiar with the matter said.
Lewis took a monster-size gamble with the purchases of both Merrill and Countrywide Financial - deals that are serving as a kind of moratorium on his effectiveness at the top spot. Actually, the Merrill deal is proving more controversial than the acquisition of Countrywide, which could wind up being a strong asset.