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CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Brian Moynihan spent his first working day as CEO of Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) outlining goals and strategy with broad brush strokes -- repeating some cliches but also ushering in a new era for the country's largest bank.
Moynihan officially took the reins from his predecessor Ken Lewis on New Year's Day, and spent Monday making the media rounds. He
Moynihan spoke of the financial crisis, the mistakes that led up to it, and the changes that have taken place since then. Essentially, his message was: We messed up, we took your money, we paid it back, and now we're working to make things better.The 50-year-old, blue-eyed Bostonian set the tone for what promises to be a challenging year for not just Bank of America, but the industry at large. After months of being catechized by lawmakers and facing pointed questions on cable television shows, Lewis had lost some of his luster. His demurrals became less kindly and he was less bashful about frustration with seemingly clueless politicians. During one puzzling exchange with Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), who demanded to know why he was paying himself mysterious "fees," Lewis said simply and exasperatedly: "I don't know what you're talking about." The ordinarily genteel, white-haired Southerner announced his retirement after a vacation in the mountains, sporting a scraggly beard, but probably feeling quite a bit of relief.