Brian Moynihan took over at Bank of America after former CEO Ken Lewis stepped down in 2009, the same year that BofA paid back its $45 billion government bailout.
The bank is profitable again, recently shifting from a $2.2 billion loss in 2010 to a $1.4 billion profit last year. To keep the company out of harm's way, Moynihan told investors at a Sanford Bernstein conference in New York last month, the bank has closed its proprietary trading desk and gotten out of private equity. It also cut costs by slashing jobs. Bank of America announced this past September that it would slice 10% of its workforce.
Going forward, Bank of America should be buoyed by steady economic improvement, which ought to keep the cost of credit down. The company must watch out, however, for a sharp increase in interest rates, which could do damage via BofA's U.S. Treasury holdings.
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