Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BofA Emails Show Pique at U.S. Over Dividends

A Bank of America Corp. director wrote to another director in a January email that pressure from the federal government to slash the bank's dividend meant "unfortunately it's screw the shareholders," according to people familiar with the exchange. (Editorial comment -- i though you screwed your shareholders by the way you ran your bank...)

The previously undisclosed email was recently handed over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office, according to one of these people. The House committee and Mr. Cuomo's office are conducting probes of securities firm Merrill Lynch & Co.'s takeover by Bank of America, as well as discussions in December and January about a Merrill-related U.S. bailout.

The email exchange reveals how worries about the unintended consequences of buying Merrill had extended inside the board of the nation's largest bank by assets.

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