It's one thing for a big shareholder to give you a hard time about the company's stock price; it's quite another for a big shareholder to give you a hard time during an open conference call. That's what's happening to Bank of America's Brian Moynihan as he gets questioned by Fairholme Capital Management's Bruce Berkowitz. Say this about Moynihan: He's not afraid to acknowledge that buying Calabasas-based Countrywide Financial was a dumb idea. Of course keep in mind that the Countrywide purchase was engineered by Moynihan's predecessor, Ken Lewis. From WSJ blog:
"Obviously there aren't many days when I get up and think positively about the Countrywide transaction," Moynihan said, in referring to the bank's horrendous 2008 deal for the giant pile of bad mortgages known as Countrywide. But Moynihan says the bank is working through its bad mortgages and "the risk has been lowered" in each of the last few quarters.
The Countrywide purchase is not the sole reason B of A is in such trouble - but it's certainly a big part of it.
Here's my piece about B of A and Countrywide in the August issue of Los Angeles magazine.