B of A: Revealing Merrill Bonus Info Would Cause "Irreparable Harm"
By Zachary Roth - March 6, 2009, 11:07AM
We didn't get to this yesterday afternoon... but it looks like Bank of America is going to the mat to avoid telling Andrew Cuomo's investigation who got those controversial Merill Lynch bonuses.
B of A, reports Bloomberg, filed court documents yesterday claiming that revealing the identities of the lucky bonus recipients would cause "grave and irreparable harm" to the firm, because it would let competitors know which areas of B of A's business the company considers most valuable, and would therefore make it easier to steal B of A's top talent. It would also create "internal dissension and consternation," and could even create security risks for those named.
In other words, if it became known who we gave huge bonuses to in a year when Merrill collapsed, people would be so mad they'd physically attack them.
Does any of this even pass the laugh test?
Former Merrill CEO John Thain has already talked to Cuomo's team about the bonuses, after a judge ordered him to do. But its not clear what he said. B of A CEO Ken Lewis refused last week to turn over a list of who got the bonuses.
Merrill gave out the awards on an accelerated schedule last December, just weeks before the failed firm came under the control of B of A. Thain has since been fired.