The choice that regulators gave Bank of America chief Kenneth Lewis could not have been clearer: Harm your shareholders or lose your job. Lewis chose to keep his job.
Rarely does the divide between corporate managers and the owners they're supposed to represent become so obvious.
Lewis' sworn testimony, made available this week, shows he reversed his decision to scrap a disastrous merger with Merrill Lynch after then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson threatened to fire him if the bank refused the deal.
The Merrill merger delivered $15 billion in losses to Bank of America's books and helped drag the stock price of the country's biggest bank from $15 to $9.