Wednesday, September 23, 2009
There are times in a company's history when it is besieged on all sides and unable to get out of the glare of bad publicity. This is one of those times for Bank of America. Whether or not one feels that the company deserves its troubles, its current problems call for sophisticated crisis PR. B of A's CEO, Ken Lewis, is in a difficult position of trying to guard attorney-client privilege from the House oversight committee at the same time he is battling the SEC, which is trying to impose new sanctions on the company for failing to disclose material information during the acquisition of Merrill Lynch. The irony of the situation is that a great deal of his troubles are not entirely of his own making. Lewis has said he felt pressured by the government to take over Merrill during the financial meltdown late last year. It is too early to guess at the outcome of these crises, but there is a good chance that Lewis won't be around to see them through. Meanwhile, the company slogs on.