Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis tried to assure his senior team that the bank would not be seized by the government, the WSJ says. As nationalization talk gains momentum in Washington, Lewis also reportedly asked the government to say publicly that it is not considering this option.
WSJ: Mr. Lewis addressed the nationalization speculation during a senior leadership meeting Thursday at the bank’s headquarters, according to a person there. Policy officials in Washington have assured Mr. Lewis that such an option isn’t on the table, the CEO said. He also said he has urged the government to say this publicly.
It’s not clear which “policy officials” Lewis was referring to, exactly. Presumably some folks at the Treasury and Fed. Nationalization is now emphatically “on the table” in Washington, with Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and others publicly calling for it.
The other news about Lewis that we can infer from this article is that he’s likely losing the support of his senior team. Unless Lewis himself ordered the leak–perhaps in an attempt to get the “nationalization not on the table” idea into the press again–Bank of America’s senior team is now going around him to the press (and quickly, too).
This, combined with the crushed stock price, Merrill Lynch deal, and Cuomo subpoena, suggest that Ken Lewis’s tenure is not long for this world.
See Also: Ken Lewis Subpoenaed