Dear Bank of America:
Who Do You Think You %!#% Work For??

First, a personal disclosure: my wife and I own a couple hundred shares of Bank of America. We’ve owned them for more than a decade, and they are now worth less than what we paid.

Adjusted for inflation, we’ve actually lost more than one-third of our original investment.

Call that risk without return.

After reaching a high of almost $50 a share more than two years ago, the stock briefly crumbled to less than $4, and has now partially recovered to just under $17.

A year ago, the dividend was slashed 98%, where it remains today.

So, is Bank of America’s leadership now embarrassed and humble? Maybe even a little contrite?

Fat chance:

At Bank of America, traders and bankers are wondering how much Brian T. Moynihan, the bank’s new chief, will be awarded for 2010. Bank of America, which is still absorbing Merrill Lynch, is expected to pay large bonuses, given the bank’s sizable trading profits. “We’re paying for results, and there were some areas of the company that had terrific results, and they will be compensated for that,” said a Bank of America spokesman.

–“For Top Bonuses on Wall Street, 7 Figures or 8?“; The New York Times (1/9/2010)

Is this Wall Street’s new social contract with America’s savers and investors?

FDR would be (and likely is) rolling over in his grave.

P.S.: to answer the question, “Who do you think you work for?” Clearly, themselves.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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