Bank of America meeting: lots of drama in the making?
Bank of America's annual meeting is set for Wednesday, and the early indication is that it could be every bit as eventful as the Wells Fargo meeting.
The usually quiet city of Charlotte expects up to 1,000 protesters and it has designated the meeting an extraordinary event, which means that people will face some restriction on what they can bring to the protests. While the big bank's stock has rallied this year, it is still well below its peak and it still trades at a significant discount to book value.
So shareholders will have some basic concerns, but the bank will face a lot more than shareholders angry about their portfolios. The bank has become something of a lightning rod for a host of alleged corporate abuses by dint of its leading role in the financial crisis. This in some ways is unfair, but the bank--if only because of its name--has nevertheless become a big rallying point for protestors. They will press their case on a host of issues, not necessarily related to the on-going fallout from the mortgage crisis, political contributions, environmental issues, and the like.
Of course nothing galvanizes protestors quite like a compensation plan that seems out over-the-top. Unlike Citigroup, Bank of America has not been targeted by influential proxy advisory groups. It will likely win the say-on-pay vote. So the board's got that going for it at least. We'll just have to see what kind of theater emerges from the confluence of protestors.
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