I don’t care how many times you ask me, I’m not going to replace Ken Lewis as the new CEO of the Bank of America (BAC). I will not accept if nominated and I will not serve if elected (sorry General Sherman).
Sure, it would look great on my resume, I’d get invited to all the right dinner parties, and unlimited use of the corporate jet has its appeal, especially if I get to be the pilot. Of course, there are those oodles of cheap stock options you are offering me. But with the shares now at sixteen dollars, and the chart looking a little green around the gills and on the verge of puking, it will take so long for them to achieve any real value that my kids, or even my grandkids, are the most likely beneficiaries.
Really, who wants to work for the government? There will be all of those chinless federal pencil necks second-guessing my every decision. I do have a tendency to explode like a drill sergeant with a torrent of four letter words when submitted to media glare. Heaven forbid if I wanted to have a three-martini lunch. Dinner at Elaine’s with CNBC’s muckraking Charlie Gasparino? You’ve got to be kidding. And who would want to live in Charlotte, North Carolina, anyway? The summers there make Hell seem like an island paradise. The best I could do would be a commute from Manhattan at company expense.
With the bank about to get swamped with another tsunami of home mortgage foreclosures, I don’t want to be there when the sushi hits the fan, offering lame excuses. Isn’t it really a fall guy you are looking for? Certainly, there are others infinitely more patient and qualified for this job than The Mad Hedge Fund Trader? Why not John Corzine? I hear he’s available. He did a great job with the State of New Jersey, didn’t he? It’s not his fault the Great Recession demolished his state’s finances. Come on, John, I’m sorry I accidentally drank out of your wine glass when you tried to recruit me for Goldman Sachs over lunch 20 years ago. Get me off the hook on this one and we’ll call it even. Come to think of it, maybe I should be shorting BAC here. Any company that wants me as its CEO must have something seriously wrong with it.
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