Late last year, I wrote a letter to the editor in which I likened the talents of Brian Moynihan, who had recently been named chief executive at Bank of America, to those of the Boston Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis.
Now with second-quarter results, it will be interesting to see if the comparison is still accurate.
Humbly, I would say that it is. Not in the "I told you so" way, but more in the way that a former teammate from years gone by relishes in the accomplishments of his onetime teammate now succeeding.
In the past six to seven months, Brian has quieted most of the naysayers and seems to be generating more fans than detractors.
Consider the stats so far: After a boardroom shake-up and losses of more than $2 billion in 2009, Bank of America has returned to the black, while simultaneously having paid off its $45 billion bailout debt to the Treasury.
It has also agreed to sell off "noncore assets."
Additionally, Bank of America has lent three-quarters of a trillion dollars in the past 12 months and continues to do some form of banking with one out of every two American households.
Moynihan's continued focus on execution will be challenged by a slowdown in capital markets, anxieties about Europe and the U.S. stock market, high unemployment, lackluster consumer confidence and the impact of regulatory reform.
These next few innings will be played out in an environment where pressures to lend clash with pressures not to make bad loans.
But to paraphrase the baseball manager Jimmy Dugan of the Tom Hanks movie "A League of Their Own," there's no crying in baseball — or banking.