Caymans Post

A world within. A state apart.
Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

0:00
0:00

Bank of America cuts short conference after outrage at Ukraine comments

‘It was more like Bank of Russia than Bank of America,’ says one viewer, as bank calls online attendees to apologise
Bank of America has cut short an online client conference on geopolitics and apologised to attendees after some balked at what they saw as pro-Russian comments about the war in Ukraine, according to three people who attended the event.

The conference was designed as a two-day event beginning on Tuesday, but BofA Securities cancelled three sessions addressing US sanctions on Russia and Russia-US relations. The move came after some clients complained about the tone of comments by speakers from inside and outside the bank during online forums on Tuesday.

One of the bank’s strategists telephoned clients after the event to apologise for the content of Tuesday’s sessions, according to three people familiar with the matter.

“I still don’t get why US banks still wheel out speakers at events for clients who so often roll through Moscow’s talking points on the war in Ukraine,” Timothy Ash of BlueBay Asset Management, a Russia specialist who attended the conference, wrote on Twitter.

He told the Financial Times: “Clearly Moscow is in an information war with the west. It has an interest in influencing how western banks portray the conflict, and banks need to be mindful of that.”

Bank of America said the meeting was one of many that include external speakers to help its clients understand issues affecting their investment decisions.

It said in a statement: “All our external speakers are independent and the diverse views expressed are their own. We have apologised to those clients who voiced their displeasure at some of the views expressed.”

Investment banks often host speakers with controversial views as part of their efforts to supply a broad range of opinions to their clients. But some of those present at Tuesday’s event said it was unusual for such one-sided views to be presented without there being other viewpoints for balance.

“It was more like Bank of Russia than Bank of America,” said one of those present. “The whole event was overwhelmingly pro-Russian.”

Another person described Tuesday’s sessions as “relentlessly anti-Ukrainian”.

Two people on the call said that Daniel Sheehan, BofA Securities’ senior vice-president for international relations, was critical of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, describing him as “a master manipulator and mimic” about whom there were “serious concerns” in the US administration. A spokesperson for Zelenskyy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A BofA spokesperson said the bank disagreed with this interpretation of Sheehan’s remarks, which had been intended to reflect the views of others, rather than his own.

One of those present said they felt one speaker, Nicolai Petro, a professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island, “said stuff that was absolutely shocking . . . it was straight out of the foreign ministry of Russia”.

However, Petro has countered that people who complained “had their own agenda” and had “really not listened” to what he said.

In his prepared speech, which he shared with the FT, Petro’s remarks included: “Under any scenario, Ukraine would be the overwhelming loser” in the war. Its industrial capacity would be “devastated”, partly by its economic policy of becoming an agricultural superpower “as recommended by the EU and the United States” and its population would continue to shrink as people left to look for employment abroad.

“If this is what Russia meant by removing Ukraine’s capacity to wage war against Russia, then it will arguably have won,” he said.

He said the US government had no interest in a ceasefire as it had the most to gain from a prolonged conflict through a “dramatic increase in EU energy and military dependence on the US”.

After the talk, Ash asked Petro a number of questions. One attendee said that Petro’s views were “not praising [Russian president Vladimir] Putin” and that it appeared that Ash wanted to push an agenda.

Ash said his only agenda was “to make sure western banks adopt a balanced approach to the conflict and don’t get sucked into just echoing Moscow’s talking points”.

Another person present said that, while views such as Petro’s may be offensive to many in the west, it was important to hear them expressed.

“It does convey information about how other people think,” the person said. “If that’s how people in Russia think about how the conflict has evolved, that’s important to know.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

Caymans Post
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×