Bear Stearns CEO's Health Raises Concerns
Investors are still jittery about the future of Bear Stearns, and they cite several reasons, CNBC has learned.
First, the 6 percent stake in Bear taken by Citic, the Chinese bank, isn't large enough for many investors who wanted a much infusion of cash that could have led to a stock buyback, CNBC has learned. In addition, people are worried about a possible fourth-quarter writedown of risky securities on Bear's books, as well as a possible regulatory settlement stemming from the implosion of two subprime hedge funds.
Then there's continued questions about CEO Jimmy Cayne's future. Investors believe Cayne's management team is among the weakest on Wall Street, and there is increased speculation that Cayne might step down sometime next year.
As CNBC has previously reported, Cayne was recently hospitalized with a urinary track infection. CNBC has learned that Cayne suffered from a more serious ailment: an infection of his prostate just after he returned from China to meet with officials from CITIC.
Cayne is now back at work in good health and good spirits, say people close to the matter. But people who know Cayne are also questioning his future as CEO. Bear did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Cayne's health.