General Electric: Collateral Damage

General Electric should be prepared to receive similar treatment to banks, as the U.S. Treasury leans on financial institutions to increase capital levels.
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FAIRFIELD, Conn. (

TheStreet

) --

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

should be prepared to receive similar treatment to banks, as the U.S. Treasury leans on financial institutions to increase capital levels.

Late Thursday, the

Treasury

said it wants banks to hold bigger capital cushions to help lessen the impact from the shoddy underwriting that inevitably takes place during boom times, and which played a big role in bringing about the current crisis.

The government also urged swifter action on reaching an international accord than many expected, saying an agreement should be in place by the end of 2010, to be implemented in 2012.

GE has not been held to the same standard as big banks like

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

and

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

when it comes to holding enough capital on its books, but it looks like that's about to change.

That may limit profits and thus potential upside in the stock, but it should help GE with its stated goal of going back to being the steady industrial company retirees want to own.

--

Written by Dan Freed in New York

.