It was laying off 7,000 people and reported 24% drop in quarterly profits.

"Rating agencies and analysts voiced concerns about the company's ability to withstand a prolonged, deep recession. Moody's downgraded the company last month on concerns that AmEx may not be able to weather this potentially severe consumer-led economic downturn as well as previous recessions."

Why would converting a financial company to a bank holding company save this company from trouble?