Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith turns 100 today. At least, she would have been, if she was a standalone entity, and not a government rescued Too Big to Fail entity, forced into a shotgun wedding with Bank of America.
If one wants to understand the full complicity of Wall Street in the Great Recession, look no further than the voluminous package of pre-collapse Lehman Brothers documents that have been made available by the law firm Jenner & Block LLP, which has acted as the coroner in the Lehman post-mortem.
More than three years after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection, it's increasingly obvious we still don't know the half of what actually went on there. For example: The person with the highest pay package at Lehman in 2007 was not its chief executive, Dick Fuld, but a managing director, Robert Millard, who was the bank's head of principal trading.
Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, who took a $1 salary after his bank received the most taxpayer assistance of any U.S. lender, is poised to collect $80 million from other payments and awards that may eventually total more than $200 million.
Erskine Bowles, a true Southern gentleman and co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s erstwhile budget-deficit commission, came to New York City from his home in North Carolina the other night to talk sense about the nation’s perilous fiscal condition.