Published January 14, 2015
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," September 30, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: And a major shakeup at Bank of America tonight. CEO Ken Lewis says he is quitting by the end of the year. Bank of America has been under fire for months for, among other things, from hiding $3.6 billion in bonuses from shareholders and dodging the question who's idea it was to hide them.
Joining us is Louise Story of the "New York Times" who has been dogging the story. Louise, so he is out?
LOUISE STORY, "NEW YORK TIMES": He is out, and then this concludes a drum roll of calls from the leave.
People since the beginning of the year, shareholders and different parties in Congress have been saying, step down, because a lot of people are very concerned about the way the Merrill merger was handled.
So he is retiring. And apparently he came back from a vacation in Aspen at the end of last month with a beard and had thought about retiring out there...
VAN SUSTEREN: He little bit like Jerry Levin when he left Time Warner then moved out to Santa Monica after the AOL merger was a debacle.
STORY: Right. So I don't know if Ken is going to be growing a beard for good after this.
VAN SUSTEREN: Here is the Louise Story "New York Times" article I am dying to read.
VAN SUSTEREN: What is the golden parachute buyout he gets? How much money -- when he leaves at the end of December having been at the helm when they bought, when they had the whole Merrill Lynch debacle, and when they have an SEC investigation going on while they have a federal judge clamoring for information, does he get money?
STORY: He does.
VAN SUSTEREN: How much?
STORY: He has about $53 million in pension assets, and he also has over $80 million in stock.
What is interesting though is that he does not have an exit package.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yet?
STORY: He doesn't have one.
VAN SUSTEREN: He will not have one.
STORY: And that was by his own choice a few years ago.
But the other interesting thing here is, you know, Bank of America is underneath this compensation czar because it had all this bailout money given to it. The compensations czar does not have authority over money that people are legally owed by last February.
My sources are telling me that the compensations czar will be looking at this to see if there is any room here, wiggle room on this money.
VAN SUSTEREN: So the shareholders get stuck again. They are paying for Merrill Lynch. They are for the $33 million penalty, they are paying for the $3.6 billion bonuses, and now because the guys leaving they are paying about, what, $130 million?
STORY: $130 million.
VAN SUSTEREN: At lease to be stuck it out for another year they went have to come up with that cash, right?
STORY: But he does already have the stock, right. And it is a stock that is a cumulative in a 40-year career, and his stock has gone down a lot in value in part because of the Merrill merger, which hurt all shareholders, including himself.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask you just a quick question, because we have to go, but the federal judge wants to know whose decision it was to hide the bonus money from the shareholders. Any chance he is in the hot seat for this?
STORY: Ken will be in the hot seat for awhile even though he retires. The attorney general of New York is considering filing charges against him specifically. This case with the SEC before the judge will go to trial by February.
So even though he is retiring from his day job, he will be in the middle of legal claims for a while.
VAN SUSTEREN: He might have to commute in from Aspen.
Anyway, Louise, thank you very much, and we will be following it in "The New York Times," because I know you're not going to let this one go.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.
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