Bank of America chief executive Ken Lewis may have fouled things up by poorly executing on a series of takeovers during the financial crisis. But with B of A's imminent payback of $45 billion of U.S. government assistance, unveiled Wednesday evening, his successor will be able to focus on reawakening the dormant banking monster — and can even get paid for the job.

The Charlotte-based bank outlined a series of steps it will take to hand back the money it received through the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program. It will take $26.2 billion from its pot of cash and other sources of liquid funds, and sell another $18.8 billion in securities that will convert into common equity once shareholders approve an increase in the bank's share count.

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