"So thank you for the loan, we'll just pay this back now and do away with these compensation requirements..." Cindy had brought a copy of the regulations to ceremonially tear up for the occasion. Thin smiles began to emerge, a glimmer of hope, then faded instantly when Tim interrupted.
"Yeah, not so fast."
"Yeah, aren't you forgetting something?"
"Wha- what do you mean? I have the check right here. It's a cashier's check even, like you asked for. It is signed in the right place. The amount is right there..." The amount was quite visible to everyone in the room, it having overlapped into two rows because of all the zeros.
"No, that's not what I mean. The check is very nice." Tim took the check from the table in a smooth motion with the soft whooshing sound of thick stock paper over wood and inspected it.
"It's the Citi thing isn't it. I knew having the check drawn on Citi was going to be an issue. That was Lloyd." Cindy pointed, her voice rising now. "He banks there, what can I say? We don't do retail you know and-"
"Don't point at me," Lloyd protested coldly.
"It's not the Citi thing."
"There is the little matter of..." and here Tim curtly pushed his chair back from the massive boardroom table and stood up, suddenly four foot seven inches of erect, monolithic officialdom. Just then they knew that he had practiced this moment several times in the mirror the night before, and possibly even this same morning. He tucked the check away in his inside suit coat pocket casually with a curt smile. "...the warrants." The word drifted over the heads of everyone in the room for a moment and then began to settle on them like cool air. As it began to sink in Tim, in a very poor attempt at a Russian accent, intoned "Nobody... leaves the KGB."
Even before a cold, sickening feeling had time to crawl up the back of Cindy's spine, just as Tim's haunting, increasingly maniacal laughter began to fade down the hall with his departure Lloyd delivered her a totally unexpected, vicious and heartless sounding slap. "You fucking lawyers," he hissed under his breath.
Though red marks from three of his fingers and a dimple from his Harvard class ring would swell on her cheek later, Cindy felt nothing in that moment. Like everyone else in the room, everyone, that is, except Tim, Cindy had indeed "forgotten about the warrants."
The Treasury intends to retain an ownership interest in many U.S. banks even after the lenders buy back preferred stock the government currently holds as part of its rescue effort.
The government will continue to hold warrants, attached to every capital injection it has made, even after any share buybacks, Treasury officials said on condition of anonymity. Banks seeking to escape the government's grip want to retire the warrants -- which give the right to buy stock in the future at a preset price -- at the same time they acquire the government- owned preferred shares.