Negotiating with Kenny Lewis

by Johnny Debacle

Kenneth Lewis is the CEO of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).
John Thain is the CEO of Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER).
A Fruit Vendor sells fruit. For a living.
A Supercuts cashier works the register at Supercuts. For a living.
A Drexel, is a white pimp/drug dealer who thinks he is black and is played by Gary Oldman.

John Thain: Kenny, I know you’ve had enough fun in investment banking, but we are in a lot of trouble here, and I’d be willing the firm to be sold at our Friday close just to give us some stability. $17 per share is fair and you guys can have a couple weeks to check out our books which you must be curious about.

Kenny Lewis: And $29 per share is a higher prime number — Let’s do that!!! Also, we must not wait, we must do this RIGHT NOW, no time to look at those books — who cares what’s on them anyways, not like we have the people to be able to get behind that junk. We bought Countrywide for chrissakes!!!! But we do know that by paying more for a falling knife, you get a sharp increase in prestige and it makes it seem like you weren’t some idiot going in alone and bidding against ourselves. It worked with Countrywide it will work with you guys!

John Thain: You, sir, have a deal.

Kenny Lewis: One thing I would ask Johnny boy is that you get a blindingly orange tan — it helps distract people. When you got the salon, ask for “The Mozilo”.

Fruit Vendor: This is my last orange, as you can see it’s bruised and damaged and, between you and me buddy, I am probably going to throw it away at the end of my shift. I’ll sell it to you for a quarter.

Kenny Lewis: I WILL PAY $1 FOR YOUR ORANGE BUT YOU MUST ACT NOW!!! That orange is the perfect strategic fit for my oranginization and I must have it. It’s even more perfect than the fit of that kumquatwide I bought last year!! Delicious!

Fruit Vendor: You, sir, have a deal.

Supercuts Cashier: Sir that will be $13 for your haircut.

Kenny Lewis: You think the guy in the $5000 pants is gonna pay $13 for a haircut? Come on!!! *As he flings a $100 bill at the cashier*

Supercuts Cashier: You, sir, have a deal.

Drexel: What we have ere, Kenny-boy, is what I like to call a CONundrum. Here is me, having access to this fine fine female over ere and there’s you, dumb-ass white-boy in a suit ain’t even paying no mind to the world of trouble you about to be in if you start up like Charlie Bronson. So looky ere, Kenny, I ain’t go not beef wit you, I just wan’t to make sure my employee gets paid what she worth. $1000, up front.

Kenny Lewis: Drexel, I didn’t come here to haggle, I’ll pay two grand in cash plus another grand in BAC shares for an “around the world” with Trixie over there.

Drexel: You, sir, have a deal.

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  1. September 15th, 2008 | 12:16 pm

    you SIR have a deal!

  2. Head Bee Guy
    September 15th, 2008 | 12:37 pm

    I was not aware that G.O.B. went from President of the Bluth Company to CEO of Bank of America. Good for him.

  3. Pleb
    September 15th, 2008 | 3:01 pm

    You know, as long as you want to give all the money in the investment banking industry away to the lawyers, why don’t you just send me a check? It would save all of us a lot of hassles, and let me get back to badgering my associates and leering at my secretary.

    We can even call it a “settlement” if it makes it easier for you to explain to your board and shareholders – not like they’re going to dig into the annual report anyhow. I recommend phrasing the balance sheet line item thusly: [Legal Expenses/Shareholder Suit: Everything not nailed down].

    Nah, you don’t need to save anything extra for legal fees related to lobbying and Congressional testimony. If you’re worried, I recommend standing up a 527 called “The First Draw Political Action Committee” to support those honorable gentlemen in their attempts to get re-elected – y’know, just in case they have second thoughts about cutting a check to bail you out. Worst comes to worst, you can always cut them a mortgage at a discount interest rate – I hear a couple committee chairs with exploding ARMS didn’t expect the rates to go up, and could use a little help. Besides, it’s worked before.

  4. none
    September 15th, 2008 | 3:19 pm


  5. Platinumfinger
    September 15th, 2008 | 5:18 pm

    How about a cooperation? If the cash is right I’m willing to rate those companies. You sure couldn’t do it on your own since I use a state of the art random payment-correlated rating function which is at least in 95.235% of the cases as accurate as the big players in the market. The difference is that I take a little less money and tend to give as much AAA as possible.
    My slogan: “Pay me – AAAA you”

  6. Strattie
    September 16th, 2008 | 12:09 am

    I would like to take the time to say: I told you so!

    … In referencing the fall of ML. As I have been seeing the doom of that co since I worked for them for 3 summers in HS back in the late 90’s.

    They suck. To be technical.

    I feel Citi is close to being on the brink of Doomdom as well.

  7. Strattie
    September 16th, 2008 | 12:12 am

    I do like ING and HSBC. My rating: they don’t suck.

  8. Pleb
    September 16th, 2008 | 6:38 am

    Platinumfinger – so you just move it around a little and add some extra “A” to it to give it a ratings bump? That is outstanding. Aside from the similarities to the alternative “A” rated mortgages, I just don’t see how a system like that could possibly fail.

    The only quibble I have is that I’d consider changing the ratings system so that attractive investments, like large breast sizes, were rated with a “D”. By more closely aligning investment rating and breast size, prospective investors would at least have a hint that the investment was probably artificially enhanced. So if somebody offered AIG some triple D rated bonds, they’d reflexively ask, “are those things real? Can I check ’em out?” Yeah, it relies on inherent sexism, but we need to do something to encourage the performance of due diligence.

  9. Platinumfinger
    September 16th, 2008 | 9:57 am

    Hey Pleb – nice thought: I completely agree that the discrimination D rated companies face right now is disturbing. I’m all for anti-discrimination laws for D rated companies. So every investor investing in investment grade funds will have to invest at least 50% in D-rated-funds.

    My rating system should be also more open minded. I’m sure that Melissa Moody’s rating system is more accurate than mine but I think that the rating should remain in alphabetical order. Although I’m sure we have to introduce some more letters.
    Currently (On a scale between: AAA and FFF): I would rate Lehman only DD since they are pretty big boobs but still managed to file the right form in time.

  10. Shogun56
    September 16th, 2008 | 10:09 am

    I’d love to see Kenny Lewis wear those Elvis sunglasses!

  11. jagorev
    September 16th, 2008 | 10:30 am

    Classic. Best LoS post in a long time. Thanks for the AD ref.

  12. MacroGod
    September 16th, 2008 | 7:30 pm

    Ah yes, how could we forget about the bag of rat intestines (AIG) Goldman reluctantly nayed to subject itself to after its Q3 profits were terrifingly unexplainable.

    “Lloyd C. Blankfien: You know since we have no reason or real abject solution to our equity drop let me kick a few Financial Analysts down a flight of stairs here and take your company for all it’s worth. I’ll give you all of my gold in wonderfully stiched Sachs here for your company even though its worth a Sach of rat intestines.”

    Robert W. Willumstad:

    “You sir, have a deal.”

  13. Oligarchette
    September 17th, 2008 | 10:13 am

    Catch a fallen star and put it in your pocket,
    Watch it while it fades away!

  14. Cory
    September 23rd, 2008 | 11:53 am

    Love the True Romance reference.