I'm certainly not looking to tar and feather Wall Street. In fact, I've been known to go as far as sticking up for the bonuses that some of those folks take home.
However, I couldn't help but regurgitate a little of my breakfast when I read Dealbreaker's coverage of Merrill Lynch's latest boondoggle in Florida. It seems that Merrill -- which Dealbreaker jokingly refers to as Bank of Amerillwide due to Bank of America's
As a shareholder of Bank of Amerillwide -- both through direct share ownership and the piece that I've inherited as an American taxpayer -- I know that the firms that have received government cheese still need to get on with business. But come on, you'd think that the brouhaha that erupted over Wells Fargo's
Of course, I don't expect this to be the last time that we'll have a chance to gasp at some seemingly over-the-top trip that a TARP-taking bank plans. In a business where wooing clients and keeping employees fat and happy is paramount, we'll likely continue to see Wall Street bumble along, trying to figure out what's truly necessary to conduct business and what's holdover from the time when structured desks thought they could perform alchemy by turning bundles of subprime junk into AAA gold. While it looks like Merrill may be taking a devil-may-care attitude in deciding where the show must go on, Goldman Sachs
If you're wondering how an investor might benefit from all of this, the collective opinion of The Motley Fool's CAPS community seems to be to avoid these former financial highfliers altogether. Morgan Stanley
Further financial Foolishness:
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Bank of America, but he does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. Bank of America is a former Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool’s disclosure policy has never once been caught with its pants down. Of course, it doesn't actually wear pants …