Magazine article American Banker


Magazine article American Banker


Article excerpt

Parting Shot?

John Korsmo did not veer much from his prepared text this week when he addressed a group of community bankers, but five words he ad-libbed in his conclusion spoke volumes about his exasperation with Washington politics.

The Justice Department is looking into allegations that the embattled Federal Housing Finance Board chairman obstructed justice during an ethics investigation into a political fundraising flap two years ago. And for weeks he has been dogged by rumors that the White House will soon force him to resign.

His frustration was plainly evident a few weeks ago, when he very publicly told a reporter to "go away" after she repeatedly asked him if he planned to step down.

In a speech Tuesday before the Independent Community Bankers of America, Mr. Korsmo did not discuss his job security, nor was he asked about it.

But according to the prepared text, the speech was to have concluded, "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you again for the invitation to join you at your annual convention here in San Diego. It is always a pleasure." Instead, he said, "It is always a pleasure to get out of Washington."

Frequent Flier

Evelyn Davis, a Washington resident and shareholder gadfly, has traveled around the country hounding CEOs for decades on everything from executive pay and corporate performance to mergers.

And she has hit the road again this year.

On Wednesday, Ms. Davis turned up at Bank of America Corp.'s special shareholder meeting in Charlotte, where investors approved its $47 billion deal for FleetBoston Financial Corp.

She is also busy pushing a shareholder resolution on compensation at Citigroup Inc. and plans to travel to its annual shareholder meeting April 20 in New York for the vote.

At B of A's meeting, the colorful Ms. Davis, who owns 466 Bank of America shares and 710 Fleet shares, alternately upbraided and praised CEO Ken Lewis and asked a flurry of questions in a rambling, 10-minute monologue. …

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