Bank of America heiress says 'idiots' are running the bank


Say "banking heiress" to me and I envision a spoiled brat. But that doesn't mean that she's wrong when she complains about the executives who are destroying her fortune. This comes to mind while reading the comments of Virginia Hammerness, a big stockholder in Bank of America (BAC) and heiress to founder A.P. Giannini's family fortune. She recently complained, "What idiots, what kind of idiots are running that bank?" and described the current state of the bank as "totally repulsive."

I feel sympathy for Hammerness because her criticisms are spot on. She pointed out that CEO Ken Lewis should pay for his decision to acquire the near-bankrupt Merill Lynch, even after learning that huge bonuses were paid out to Merill employees right after the deal was announced. Her grandfather would not have accepted such huge bonuses, she said, but would have instead put the money into helping customers.