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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Andy Martin will fight Bank of America takeover of Merrill Lynch

Banking expert Martin says a takeover of Merrill Lynch will devastate the economies of New York City, New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut. Martin says BankofA will bleed Florida and Midwest depositors to finance national expansion schemes. Martin says BankofA charges high fees and offers diseconomies of scale. Martin says “This is the world mismanagement of our economy in my lifetime; they are screwing shareholders and consumers and undermining our economy.”

Chicago news conference: Andy Martin opposes Bank of America takeover of Merrill Lynch, says BkofA is overextended

Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”





(CHICAGO)(September 15, 2008) Legendary Chicago Internet columnist, public interest lawyer and muckraker Andy Martin will hold a news conference Monday, September 15th to announce that he will oppose regulatory approval for Bank of America to acquire Merrill Lynch.

“I have been a consistent critic of economic mismanagement in Washington. The bipartisan chaos that is ripping apart our financial system must be stopped. For a few of my prior comments, please see:

“Basically, government has created this hysteria, and the hysteria is feeding on itself. The American people deserve better from their leaders.

“I am hopeful that Senator John McCain will also condemn secret meetings and weekend deals as a way to restructure our financial markets.

“My experience with Bank of America is that customer service is sloppy; you can never get them to respond or resolve anything. They are overextended. This year they have tried to digest the nation's largest mortgage lender, Countrywide. Now the nation's biggest brokerage network? What ‘management’ do they bring to the table that Merrill Lynch or Lehman Brothers did not already possess?

“Bank of America also charges consumers and small businesses the highest prices. In most cities, many banks offer ‘free business checking.’ Bank of America charges a minimum of $15 a month for the same service. Their size has not introduced economies of scale to benefit the public. On the contrary, based on my own experience with poor customer service, their scale has created diseconomies of scale. I find their branch staff rude and unresponsive and their toll-free staff equally unresponsive.

“Their management is stretched too thin. They just took over LaSalle Bank in Chicago. It is obvious they will be bleeding Chicago depositors and businesses to feed their national aspirations. Chicago should not have to suffer so that BkofA executives can get bigger and bigger, until they too eventually go bust. I don’t think these BkofA wheelers dealers should be allowed to deplete the Midwest to finance excessive economic concentration elsewhere.

“On the contrary, increasing concentration of our financial industry is something to be avoided.

“We began the year with the world's soundest financial system and markets. Now we are creating chaos and turning over billions in profits to short sellers and speculators such as George Soros. Is this sound public policy? I think not. Incompetence is destroying our economy and our financial services industry. This must stop.

“Should we be restructuring our economy in secret weekend meetings? Should we be devastating the economy of the City of New York, which will then cause ongoing financial chaos and disruption for tens of millions? I don’t think so. No one is thinking beyond Monday morning, and that is sheerer mismanagement and incompetence.

“The shenanigans in which Bank of America seeks to grab a major financial institution from its shareholders will do incalculable damage to the economies of New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as the national economy. No one is looking at what my law school dean used to call ‘the big picture.’ Well I see the big picture and I don’t like it. No one should like it. Republicans should oppose it.

“Government-stimulated hysteria is talking down and taking down our financial system. It’s crazy. My late boss, Senator Paul Douglas, who authored our bank holding company laws, would be shaking his head in disgust at what is happening. Where is Congress? Who is standing up and speaking up for the consumer and investor in all of these backdoor manipulations?

“Nevertheless, because regulatory approval is required, I will formally announce Monday afternoon that I will launch efforts to see that approval is denied, and that Bank of America is not permitted to use its current incompetence to acquire additional control of our economy. This deal would bring higher and higher costs to investors and consumers. It is anti-competitive and anti-consumer,” Martin will state.


Internet Columnist-Editor/economist Andy Martin

Andy Martin will fight Bank of America’s takeover of Merrill Lynch

Southeast corner of Huron and Wabash Streets, Chicago

Monday, October 15, 3:00 P. M.

(312) 440-4124; CELL PHONE (917) 664-9329


Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, public interest lawyer, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has been involved in public interest litigation for over forty years and is an expert on Federal Reserve Board matters, where he tried the first bank holding company case in 1973 (Mellon Bank/Local Loan).

Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2008. Martin comments on regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He holds both Economics and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Illinois.

His columns are also posted at; Andy is the author of the bestseller Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, published in July 2008, see

MEDIA CONTACT: (866) 706-2639 or cell (917) 664-9329
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