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Bank of America CEO: We Took Too Much TARP Money


Bank of America chief executive Ken Lewis appeared on CNBC this morning to discuss the banking crisis that his whipsawed his company. Among the highlights, according to a CNBC story:

--On TARP: "We took more [TARP funding] than we needed, in an abundance of caution, and I regret having taken that much."

--On when it will be paid back: "It's going to be several quarters before we have the opportunity. If you had a window, you could pay some of it back, but not all of it back; we'd like to do that, at least."

--On the executive pay controversy: "You're getting into dangerous territory, changing contracts, going back on words of others in the government, lack of continuity. Hopefully, as we step back and become a little more thoughtful, cooler heads will prevail, and we'll get this thing headed in the right direction."

--And on the state of the economy overall: "I think we're at a point where you're seeing mixed signals, housing sales a little better than you think, or car sales not being as bad as you think, and when you see the mixed signals, I think it signals that you're getting close to the bottom."

-- Michael Rosenwald, sitting in the chair today for Frank Ahrens.

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  April 2, 2009; 8:49 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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