BUSINESS
03/24/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bank Of America CEO Lewis: We Can "Make It Through This Downturn On Our Own"

With his company's stock sliding Friday, Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis pushed back strongly against talks that the company may soon be taken over by the Federal Government.

From Bloomberg News:

Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis, under siege from investors on concern the company may be taken over by the U.S. government, said he doesn't need any more federal assistance and can "make it through this downturn on our own."

Lewis, speaking in a memorandum to employees yesterday as his stock price plummeted as much as 36 percent, said he aimed to "prove cynics and critics wrong" by spurning attempts at nationalization. Bank of America, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, has already received $45 billion in bank rescue funds.

Read the full memo via the Wall Street Journal.

In its introduction to the memo the Journal notes that "Bank of America's shares hit an intraday low of $3.19 a share today, a level not seen since August 2, 1984, when the bank traded at $3.17 a share." Bank of America's closed the day down 3.6 percent Friday.

It was also reported Friday that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has subpoenaed Lewis as part of his ongoing investigation into whether the company misled investors in regards to its acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

More details from Bloomberg:

Cuomo subpoenaed former Merrill CEO John Thain and Bank of America Chief Administrative Officer J. Steele Alphin last month for information related to bonuses paid to Merrill executives before the Jan. 1 completion of the takeover.

The attorney general said at the time that it was "troubling" that Merrill appeared to have accelerated the timetable for bonuses typically paid early in the calendar year. His probe is part of an investigation into billions of dollars of payments to executives by New York-based Merrill late last year.