‘Sooner is Better’

October 7, 2008

bofa.jpgWhile the credit meltdown has many of the bankers who have been able to hang on to their jobs twiddling their thumbs lately, nothing could be further from the truth for equity capital markets desks at major banks.

Those desks are tasked with moving tens of billions of dollars in equity as struggling financial institutions try to bolster capital. 

Today, Bank of America is trying to raise $10 billion in common stock, part of its plan to offset a sharply slowing economy and deteriorating credit.

Last week, it was Goldman Sachs and General Electric, who between them sold $25 billion in new stock alongside separate capital injections from folksy Nebraskan billionaire Warren Buffett, notes high-profile Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney in a note today.

Still to come? Another $30 billion, this time for Citigroup and Wells Fargo, the two rival combatants for Wachovia.

In fact, the amount financial servies covered by Oppenheimer have raised over the last three weeks is equivalent to nearly 80 percent of what they had raised since the third quarter of 2007, Whitney said.

“With such massive capital raises, we believe a ‘sooner is better’ mentality will prevail as far as capital raises and distinguish survivors and the more challenged among banks, Whitney said.

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