Jim Wheeler was quoted extensively in today’s Fulton Daily Report story titled, “Lawyers help banks jump through Treasury hoops.” The full story is available online (subscription required).
After Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced more details of the plan Oct. 20, Wheeler said his bank clients were still divided about whether to take the money. “One said he was not going to go public. One said he didn’t want to, but he needs the money,” he said.
But Wheeler and other lawyers said the department appears to be retailoring the plan so that banks that don’t have preferred shares of stock can participate. If that requirement is adjusted, said Wheeler, “It opens the floodgates.”
“Going public has been the biggest sticking point so far. Now, everybody is cautiously optimistic that they won’t have to,” he added.
“The plan wasn’t designed for the community banks, but for the big nine banks,” said Wheeler, referring to gargantuan commercial banks such as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs that have already sold $125 billion in equity to the government in a separate deal.
Powell Goldstein will continue to monitor Treasury’s actions regarding TARP Capital as it relates to community banks, and will provide updates on this website.