And he wanted this job? When Bank of America Corp. canned Ken Lewis in 2009, Brian Moynihan had to outlast a list of higher-profile candidates mooted for the top job at the big, if troubled, Charlotte, N.C., bank. Like President Obama, Moynihan, a lawyer hailing from the BofA-acquired Fleet Boston Financial Corp., inherited a mess. And like Obama, Moynihan has discovered that his troubles have only grown worse, from toxic Countrywide Financial mortgages to waves of mortgage litigation to a floundering national economy to a tumbling share price to poisonous and self-fulfilling rumors of capital inadequacy and regulatory intervention. August was grim; September looked worse. But when Warren Buffett pumped in $5 billion, which settled the markets, and Moynihan announced broad outlines of a multiyear restructuring and cost-cutting plan -- more than 30,000 jobs cut over the next three years -- known as New BAC, the stock edged upward. And Moynihan had the temerity to actually question the bigger-is-better gospel of the Hugh McColl and Lewis era. Undoubtedly, more challenges, many legal and regulatory (notably capital hikes), will fly at him over the next few months. But Moynihan won't be the last banker to slash and burn in this age of austerity. If he requires consolation he can always call that other bank CEO drafted to clean up a bank superfund site: Citigroup Inc.'s Vikram Pandit.