Also long time holder (and gambler) - but if KK ruins company if favor of staying with dividend, then his resume is more ruined. Cut if necessary for the good of the strength of the company and as temporarily as possible.
KK cannot ignore the realities of the current banking enviroment where each day their data shows increasing borrower defaults and the rest of their day is spent advising local bank presidents on how to deal with their portfolio troubles. BBT needs ammunition to stay healthy in this survival war retained earnings is the best ammunition. A 50% reduction of the dividend(which is already discounted) will keep the stock strong in the 23 - 30 dollar range and keep BBT a strong bank. The alternative is a large stock offering or the conversion of TARP funds to common which could, at a $20 conversion price, add 175 million new shares. Not good!!!!!!!!!!!!