Harold Ford Jr. tells a good joke:
From the NYTimes: (Greenwald essay
Mr. Ford declined to discuss what he is paid by the bank [Merrill Lynch, of which he is Vice Chairman], but publicly available data suggests that he earns at least $1 million a year. Asked what role outsize pay packages played in fueling the financial crisis, Mr. Ford said he objected to capping executive compensation on Wall Street. "I am a capitalist," he said. "I believe that people take risk, and there are rewards if they do well; they should lose if they don't."
Merrill Lynch was rescued by being absorbed by Bank of America. Since then, BofA has benefited from extraordinary financial support from the Fed (e.g. carry trade). Whatever "risk" that Ford thinks was taken, it was eliminated when Merrill Lynch got into trouble in 2008 and the government acted to keep it afloat.
Ford is no different from the Goldman Sachs apologists we've heard so much from in recent months.