From the Wall Street Journal (subs. req'd) series on the collapse of Bear Stearns --
Bear Stearns executives believed another public statement was needed. Arrangements were made for Mr. Schwartz [CEO] to appear from Florida on business network CNBC.
Minutes after 9 a.m. on Wednesday [12 March], Mr. Schwartz told the cable-TV audience, "Some people could speculate that Bear Stearns might have some problems...since we're a significant player in the mortgage business. None of those speculations are true."
But before he could get through his talking points -- which included mentioning the firm's strong cash reserves and indicating to investors that Bear Stearns would have a profitable first quarter -- Mr. Schwartz was interrupted by breaking news from New York: Gov. Eliot Spitzer, having been linked to patronizing prostitutes, was resigning. Mr. Schwartz was dismayed, but got a chance to make his points after the news break.