Now that the Obama Administration has started sacking CEOs, MoveOn asking its 3.2 million members to petition Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to issue Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis's pink slip next, in a move that appears to be related to the union pension fund-led proxy battle to get bank shareholders to vote him out at the annual meeting later this month. Yesterday Stephen Lerner, a division director of the Service Employees International Union, went on Ed Schultz's new MSNBC show to lambaste the $35 million in pay Lewis had taken home over the past two years when the average teller makes $21,000 a year.
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But antipathy toward Lewis is bipartisan. Yesterday Jerry Finger, who manages a Houston-based pension fund and contributed more than $35,000 to Republicans last year, added his 1.1 million votes to the cause, along with a flashy red, white and blue website encouraging fellow shareholders to "vote for change."
But is Lewis really the worst? If any unforgivably reckless institution on the "too big to fail" list deserves more pushing around from the feds, it's Citigroup. And today the influential analyst Meredith Whitney, a relentless critic of the banking sector, praised Lewis and said he should keep his job.