Wachovia Woes - | WBTV Charlotte

Wachovia Woes

By: Sharon Smith

     The Wachovia fallout is concerning regular investors worried about their retirement and the bank's future.

     Wachovia stocks hit a one year low, Tuesday, following the removal of Ken Thompson as CEO over the weekend. It's a string of bad news for the bank hit by loan losses, regulatory investigations and furor from shareholders upset by slashed dividends.

      Former employee, Barbara Guthrie, is afraid she'll be hit by the bank twice. First, she was laid off two years ago, now she's worried about her retirement account.

     "We're looking at our bottom line, our personal bottom line -- what we have to live on," said Guthrie.

       However, UNC-Charlotte Professor John Connaughton says there's no reason to panic. He believes Wachovia will rebound, and will weather the storm.

      This afternoon he presented his economic forecast for North Carolina to a crowded room of business and city leaders. Connaughton admits it was probably more packed because of the Wachovia issue.

     "The fact of the matter is, this doesn't have any impact on North Carolina or the Charlotte economy," said Connaughton.

       He said the bank will make money no matter who is CEO. Thompson faced extra scrutiny for the acquisition of trouble mortgage lender Golden West two years ago. The deal went down during the peak of mortgage market.

      "They made a couple of bad decisions and the timing wasn't great, but they'll work their way through this and will be fine," said Connaughton.

        Guthrie says his forecast makes her feel better, but she's still concerned that the bank's timeline is not her own.

         

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