Pirates at the helm

The corporate parasites protect their own:

After months of anger at Bank of America (BAC) chairman and CEO Ken Lewis, shareholders voted to fire him as board chairman yesterday at the company’s annual meeting in Charlotte.

Lewis had a terrible year in 2008, as did everyone in the banking industry, but he had the added baggage of having withheld material adverse information from his shareholders about the forced merger of BAC with Merrill Lynch late last year. After shareholders approved that merger (which was instigated by government authorities), it came out that Merrill’s losses were going to be considerably worse than anyone knew. To add insult to injury, Merrill’s recently-installed CEO, John Thain, found it prudent to accelerate the payment of Merrill’s annual bonuses by a month. This meant they would be largely complete before the BAC merger completed, making it impossible for BAC’s shareholders to nix or reduce them…. It gets interesting at this point, because even though shareholders did what they think is the right thing, the rest of the company’s directors unanimously voted to retain Lewis as CEO, the top management position.

What the board was saying in effect was: Lewis is the best guy for the job; we’re not going to easily find anyone as good; and his malfeasance in withholding information about the Merrill deal was not sufficient grounds to dismiss him.

Speaking as an entrepeneur, let me state unequivocally that one of the biggest problems in corporate America is the fact that the professional executive class is the most useless bunch of thieving scum in the country. (The Human Resources departments are useless too, but at least they’re not thieves.) Most corporate executives are not businessmen, they’re not capitalists, they’re simply parasites busily engaged with siphoning off as much corporate money as they think they can get away with. Every single member of that board should be fired. If Lewis hadn’t violated his responsibility by keeping his mouth shut about the massive devaluation of the company that the Merrill merger would entail, there’s no way it would have gone through.

It’s sickening the way that the parasites chant “increasing shareholder value” like a mantra while doing their damndest to reduce it in every way. Lewis is a parasitic poster boy; he was willing to sink the entire company rather than risk – risk – the chance that the U.S. Treasury would try to break the law and fire him.