Bankruptcy Could Still Be On E*Trade’s Table

    January 9, 2008

As I write this, E*Trade’s stock isn’t doing too terribly; after months of losing value, it’s actually up 1.33 percent so far today.  But there’s word that, contrary to earlier statements, the company may still be considering a declaration of bankruptcy.

On the Yahoo Message Boards, a user known as "janiscampanella" provided what appears to be an email from an E*Trade employee.  Campanella’s profile is quite bare, but since first joining the Boards in February of 2007, she’s made 263 posts.Bankruptcy Could Still Be On E*Trade's Table

She’s also apparently heard from Adam Townsend, who in many official press releases, has been named E*Trade’s investor relations contact.  Townsend supposedly responded to questions about E*Trade’s anti-bankruptcy stance by stating, "Clearly I think the board and everyone here is behind what Mr. Caplan said with respect to the bankruptcy possibilities, and they are all doing everything they can to make sure that remains the case, but I can never promise anything."

Henry Blodget has left voicemails for Townsend in an attempt to confirm the message.  Meanwhile, people on the Yahoo Message Boards seem to be working themselves into a frenzy.

Whether the message is or isn’t legitimate, though, it’s somewhat unlikely that we’ll hear much else on the matter.  A prankster would have already accomplished his (or her) goal, while the real Townsend might have thought to stop talking.  And a denial seems possible either way.