When asked why he didn't wait until Monday to get Merrill at a lower price, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis stated "the strategic opportunity was so compelling it couldn't wait."Oh, and of course, both the government and the Fed are massively pouring money into BofA to keep it afloat and the bill is going to be sent the USD holders (and not just the US tax-payer as I see written just EVERYWHERE). Government intervention is destructive of value, not creative.
The nightmare scenario is now unfolding:
Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, may get more aid from the government to help absorb losses tied to this month's acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co., three people familiar with the matter said.
Details are likely to be disclosed on Jan. 20, the people said. That's when Bank of America may post its first quarterly loss in 17 years as it digests the purchases of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial Corp. The combined company has already received $25 billion from the U.S.
Bank of America told regulators in December the takeover might be abandoned because of Merrill's worse-than-expected results, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The government insisted the transaction proceed because its collapse would create new turmoil in the financial system, they said.
The Merrill purchase followed Bank of America's July acquisition of Countrywide, the largest U.S. home lender. That transaction is probably causing losses at Bank of America because of the declining value of U.S. home prices, Townsend said. Losses from Countrywide's loans to delinquent borrowers may top $29 billion through 2011, Horowitz wrote in his report.
Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- [...]
The fourth-quarter loss of $1.79 billion, or 48 cents a share, compared with net income of $268 million, or 5 cents, a year earlier, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said in a statement today. Results didn't include a $15.3 billion loss at Merrill, acquired this month.
The losses, coupled with the government lifeline of $138 billion, raise doubts about the future of Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis, who engineered takeovers of unprofitable New York-based brokerage Merrill and ailing mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. [...]
“This thing is unraveling so fast Lewis may know his job is lost,” said Paul Miller, an analyst at Friedman Billings Ramsey Group Inc. in Arlington, Virginia, who has an “underperform” rating on Bank of America. The management team has “lost credibility,” he said before results were announced.