Ken Lewis Defiant: TARP Repayment Coming Soon

Update: The tick by tick is below, but there were a few important points. The big one is that the bank is planning on doing its entire capital needs from the private market, and that it plans to repay TARP and raise non-FDIC guaranteed debt ASAP. That’s big.

Meanwhile Lewis defiantly insists that BofA didn’t need that first TARP round, and that though they needed it post-Merrill, he had no reason to disparage Hank Paulson or Ben Bernanke.


7:25 Is the assessment fair or aggressive? Lewis says it’s fair and aggressive.

Plan is to sell $17 billion in common equity, $10 billion in asset sales. And then the company is planning two JVs.

7:26 In addition, profitability run rate will supercede government estimates and that will get the company close to the $34 billion.

7:27 Economic rebound? Sometime in the second half of this year. Tax cuts, stimulus, et. al.

7:28 Plan is to raise non-FDIC guaranteed debt and repay TARP ASAP.

7:31 PPIP. Still have toxic assets? “We do, but not at any price.” Assets are fairly valued.

7:33 “We’re not sure when the government did step in that we needed that first round of preferred.” Still basically suggesting they didn’t need any assistance, absent Merrill.

7:36 How did that stress test info leak? Lewis: I don’t know, but it worked!

7:37 How long will he stick around? Somewhere between TARP repayment and age 65 (three years) is when he’ll quit.

7:38 Chairman vote. “Seems to be a growing trend… a big piece of it is a governance issue”

7:39 Merrill: Can’t really talk, due to lawyers. We were dealing with an issue that was once-in-a-lifetime of huge proportions. And nobody should question the integrity of Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson.

7:39 John Thain “Wish him the best.

7:40 Are we going to Japan? “It’s in self interest to the banks to make as many good loans as they can.”

7:41 Earnings power. That was up for debate.

7:43 Reserve regulations are too pro-cyclical.

7:46 Era of big bank not ever. Goal is to run good community bnkas in each community.

7:47 Extreme stress test scenario: Less than 20% likely.

7:48 Done.


Bank of America (BAC) was the stress test’s biggest loser. Ken Lewis pleads the case for his bank starting at 7:25.

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