On March 18 of this year, Ken Lewis told the Charlotte Observer that his bank would likely pay back TARP in 2010, or perhaps even this year.
When we read it, we really thought that he, frankly, sounded like he was on some illegal substance. Remember, March 18 was truly the pits, just a few days after the bottom, when the world was in the throes of AIG outrage, pundits were still talking about how the Treasury’s latest bank bailout was a scam and a gift to the private sector, and there was still real talk of seizing Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C).
And yet here we are, and Bank of America is repaying TARP this year! Astounding.
He was right, and we were wrong.