Questions cloud Wachovia's sale - | WBTV Charlotte

Questions cloud Wachovia's sale

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV)--It's just beesn a roller coaster of a day.

After all the fears of what Wachovia's firesale to Citi could mean...Charlotte woke up to great news. The Wells Fargo deal could be much for better for employees, shareholders and this city.

But now that too is up in the air...and people are starting to wonder if there's more to all this than meets the eye.

With so little definitive information for outsiders, Wachovia's saga seems steeped in insider intrigue. Just last night, the bank said it was working quickly to finalize its merger agreement with Citi. But this morning, CEO Bob Steel had shocking news. Wachovia's buyer would in fact be Wells Fargo.

Citi is calling the action illegal, and UNCC economist John Connaughton says their claim must have legs. "I'm pretty sure they have something to stand on," he said, "or they would not have indicated that they're going to fight this."

But if Wachovia feels it can get out of that dire-looking deal with Citi, why rush into something else with Wells? T

he 700 Billion Dollar Bailout passed today. Wachovia's stockprice is up. Many are wondering if the bank can't just wait this crisis out. And Connaughton says that might be what its doing.

WBTV's Melissa Hankins asked Connaughton today if "there's any way Wachovia could be using this as a stall tactic to slow the process until it can stand on its own?"

His answer? "There's always that possibility."

Another wild card, another question even experts like Connaughton have trouble answering--what exactly is the FDIC's role in all this, after it forced the Citi sale?

"Because they are involved in the Citi deal, I'm sure they're involved in this as well," Connaughton said.

Citi is hiding its hand right now. They certainly didn't produce any signed documents today. But Wachovia isn't denying an agreement with its first suitor either.

This story has been developing by the hour. Stay tuned--there's lots more to come.

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