E*Trade CEO Chokes CNBC Interview, Struggling Company Still Needs Cash

There are only two questions that matter for E*Trade Financial (ETFC):

  • How big will future write-downs be for the company’s un-saleable mortgage and home-equity portfolio?
  • How much more cash does the company need to raise?

According to the WSJ, the company’s new CEO, Don Layton, muffed the latter question in his debut CNBC interview–saying, “If I told you that, I’d have to kill you.”

Ho, ho, ho.

Back in January, E*Trade acknowledged that it needed more cash, which will mean more dilution for current shareholders. Don has now had three months to think about how much cash the company needs to raise, and e*Trade shareholders have every right to know. If Don can’t tell shareholders the answer, he should at least tell them when he will be able to. So instead of going for yuks, he should have said the following:

“Obviously that’s a fair and important question. We look forward to discussing it in detail on our first quarter conference call.”

The Chronicles of E*Trade
E*Trade: Better Disclosure, Finally, But Needs More Cash
ETrade Bounces Off The Bottom
Is E*Trade Revisiting its “No Bankruptcy” Vow?
eTrade Still Playing Fast and Loose With Facts?

ex-E*Trade CEO Mitch Caplan Voted 2007 Goat of the Year
E*Trade Tries to Instill Confidence, Fails
Singing the E*Trade Blues: Stock Approaching $3
E*Trade’s Long, Quiet March Toward Zero

How to Destroy a Company in 5 Short Months: An E*Trade Financial Seminar
Cost of E*Trade’s Gambling Debts: $9+ Billion and Counting
E*Trade’s Citadel Deal Cuts Existing Shareholders in Half
E*Trade Saved By Hedge fund Citadel

E*Trade on the Block
E*Trade’s Desperate Ads Crush Stock Again
E*Trade CEO Denies Bankruptcy, Risks Jail Time

E*Trade to Customers: Please Don’t Take Money and Run!

How E*Trade Can Save Itself
Demolished E*Trade Plays the Wimpy “Irresponsible” Card

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