The brave show of confidence continues, as Bank of America (BAC) CEO Ken Lewis says his bank will be healthy enough to repay all $45 billion in TARP loans by late this year or perhaps 2010. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Lewis said he expects his troubled bank to be profitable this year “absent some unexpected meltdown.”
The bank, he says, could actually pay some back right now, but for the fact that it’s maintaining higher-than-normal capital cushions. And he notes that the taxpayer has already received a $402 million dividend payment (note: we’ve been travelling, but we hope to find our dividend check in the mail when we get home)
Oh, and once again he defends the Merrill deal: “If I look out over an intermediate timeframe such as the next three to five years or a longer time timeframe of five to 10 years I think Merrill will prove to be one of the best acquisitions we’ve ever made.”
Shares of Bank of America are up another 10% today to just shy of $7.
(via The Deal)