Citigroup 2.0

cityfile · 02/03/10 01:14PM

Citigroup chief Vikram Pandit is blogging! Well, not exactly. But he does make an appearance on "The New Citi Blog," a site the bank launched earlier this week to try and convince the public—and Washington—that Citi has totally changed since the financial crisis unfolded and is now totally focused on making the world a better place:

Citi Looks Forward to the Future

cityfile · 01/19/10 09:14AM

Citigroup reported a $7.6 billion fourth-quarter loss this morning, much of it related to the bank's decision last month to exit the government bailout program and repay the $20 billion it still owed Washington. But don't think of it as bad news. Things are actually looking up! Not only is a big improvement from 2008 when the bank racked up $27.7 billion in losses, but Citi CEO chief Vikram Pandit said in a statement that "he believed the house of Citigroup was finally in order." Count on "sustainable profitability," continued "growth," and—if he's lucky—and fancy office redecoration for Pandit the year ahead! [NYT]

Wall Street Takes a Hit

cityfile · 01/11/10 11:24AM

It's a good thing many investment bankers are collecting record bonuses. Working on Wall Street just got a lot more expensive! Citigroup raised its cafeteria prices by five percent today, a move that follows UBS's decision last week to begin charging employees ten cents for cardboard lunch trays and Deutsche Bank's recent decree that plastic coffee cups will no longer be available and employees will have to bring a mug of their own to work. [Business Insider]

It's Business as Usual at Citigroup

cityfile · 01/06/10 01:49PM

It's a good thing Citigroup repaid that $20 billion it owed the U.S. government on December 14. If it hadn't, some people might be a tad ticked off to hear that on December 30, the bank paid John Havens, Citi's investment banking chief, $9 million for his stellar work in 2008, making him the broken bank's highest-paid employee for the year. [WSJ]

Weak Security at America's Weakest Bank

cityfile · 12/22/09 01:52PM

Computer hackers can be so cruel. Not only did a "Russian cyber gang" decide to mount an attack on one of America's banks, they picked the nation's most feeble financial institution, too. According to the Journal, hackers likely used a $40 software program to gain access to Citibank accounts and make off with "tens of millions of dollars," although in typical Citi fashion, for now the bank is pretending the computer attack never happened. [WSJ]

Citigroup Catches Another Break

cityfile · 12/16/09 08:36AM

Citigroup chairman Dick Parsons couldn't be bothered to go to the White House on Monday to meet the president—he has an extremely active social life, let's not forget!—but the bank continues to enjoy special treatment in Washington, you'll be pleased to hear. On Friday afternoon, the IRS granted a special exemption that will allow Citi to hold on to a $38 billion tax benefit. [NYT]

Citigroup Frees Itself

cityfile · 12/14/09 08:28AM

Last week, Bank of America paid back the $45 billion it borrowed from the U.S. government last year. That left Citigroup the only big bank still under the watchful eye of Washington, and the only one still required to comply with limits on executive compensation. Citi CEO Vikram Pandit wasn't going to let that situation continue, was he? No, he was not. Following a "frenzied effort" over the past few days, Citigroup announced this morning that it will be paying back the $20 billion it received in bailout funds:

Farewell, Diners Club

cityfile · 11/24/09 04:43PM

Who knew Diners Club still existed? It turns out it does and today Citigroup announced that it's selling off the near-dead credit card franchise to a Canadian bank for "an undisclosed sum" (read: not much) as it looks to shed "noncore assets and streamline operations." A look back at the glory days of America's first credit card below.

Pay Raise at Citigroup!

cityfile · 11/18/09 11:00AM

Citigroup has announced that it's raising salaries for several top execs at the partially government-owned bank. Fortunately, the list does not include Vikram Pandit, Citi's incompetent CEO. He'll continue to collect $1 a year for his services, which is still probably a dollar too much. [AP]

Citigroup Was One Big Mistake

cityfile · 11/06/09 02:32PM

If you're a Citigroup shareholder and you've watched your investment in the bank tumble into the abyss over the past year, take heart. John Reed, the man partly responsible for creating the dysfunctional financial supermarket that Citigroup turned into by merging Citicorp with Sandy Weill's Travelers Group in 1998, is really, really sorry. "We learn from our mistakes," says Reed. Feel better now? [Bloomberg]

Pay Raise for Some, But Not for All

cityfile · 10/28/09 10:05AM

Good news for senior execs at bailed-out banks and auto companies. While Treasury Department "pay czar" Ken Feinberg announced last week that he was slashing overall compensation at the companies under his control, he's since decided to raise base salaries. Why? Because the banks complained, of course, which prompted Feinberg to re-review the matter.

Extreme Makeover: Wall Street Edition!

cityfile · 10/21/09 12:46PM

Wall Street CEOs make a fortune, as you're undoubtedly aware. Even the chief executives of banks that have been bailed-out by Washington or have gone bust usually end up doing nicely. But despite the riches and perks these men have accumulated and massive egos they've developed along the way, few of them would do all that well in a beauty contest. Because it's high time that Wall Street take advantage of the miracle of modern science—and because we care, dammit—we took the liberty of contacting Dr. Anthony Youn, a board-certified plastic surgeon who has made appearances on Dr. 90210 and the Rachael Ray Show, to ask him what procedures he'd suggest these titans of finance consider if they want to look their very best. Dr. Youn's answers and cost estimates—and our commentary—is below.

Ken Lewis Comes Up Empty

cityfile · 10/15/09 02:45PM

Ken Lewis, the outgoing CEO of Bank of America, won't be collecting a salary or bonus for 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal. Why? Because the Treasury Department's pay czar, Ken Feinberg, demanded it and the bank conceded rather than put up a fight. Don't shed any tears for Lewis: His retirement package is still worth between $69.3 million and $120 million. But there's reason to believe Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit is quaking in his Ferragamo loafers this evening:

A Tale of Two Banks

cityfile · 10/15/09 07:31AM

Goldman Sachs announced third-quarter earnings today and, as expected, Lloyd Blankfein has good reason to smile. The firm raked in $3.1 billion in profits, which was three times what the bank made during the same period in 2008. And Goldman bonuses will set a new record when they're doled out in a few months: A whopping $5.25 billion was set aside this quarter alone to pay for them. (As several people predicted, the firm also announced it was putting a big chuck of money—$200 million—into its foundation this quarter in what appears to be an attempt to counter negative press over the big bonuses.) But travel a few miles north from Goldman HQ to the offices of Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit and the mood isn't as cheery.