Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!

Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.
Scottish author & novelist (1771 – 1832)

It was October 19th, 2008 that my wife and I were watching the 60 Minute interview of CEO Ken Lewis, the head of Bank of America. During the interview it seemed that Mr. Lewis was truthful in his talk and careful explained the bank’s position. In his first remarks he stated that:

The head of Bank of America, Ken Lewis, says that when he and the others met at the Treasury Department, it became clear that Secretary Paulson’s “offer” was an ultimatum – no negotiations.

The total was $125 billion of taxpayers’ money. Bank of America, Lewis says, didn’t need the money … but got $25 billion anyway.

Later in the interview he stated that:

“It’s said that one of the main reasons the [Bank of America] is doing well is because of your decision not to get into sub prime mortgages,” Stahl said.

“In 2001, my first year as CEO, we decided that we just didn’t like the business. It was too risky. And so we decided to get out of it.”

So impressive and convincing was Ken Lewis that I actually believed what he had to say. It was a year or so later that we learned he had lied through his teeth and that Bank of America had been involved in sub-prime lending.

So what could WikiLeaks have on Bank of America? Well if you have the top honcho of the company not telling the truth, one would suspect that this kind of behavior could flow downwards.

I seriously doubt that any of us truly believe the bankers, people on the stock market or mortgage lenders when they spin their tales of what caused the mortgage mess. Plus it is hard to believe those in the government who are trying to fix the mess.

So what do we believe in? Share your thoughts.

Comments welcome.

Source – 60 Minutes

Source – Bloomberg