Kenneth Lewis is probably having a pretty crappy day. The government just told him that he needs to find $33.9 billion in order to “withstand any worsening of the economic downturn.” Anybody got any spare change?
The NYT explains:
If the bank is unable to raise the capital cushion by selling assets or stock, it would have to rely on the government, which has provided $45 billion in capital through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
It could satisfy regulators’ demands simply by converting non-voting preferred shares it gave the government in return for the capital, into common stock.
But that would make the government one of the bank’s largest shareholders.
Lewis is having a difficult few weeks, having recently been fired from his position as chairman of the board. He remains CEO.