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That’s Interesting, Because Just The Other Day, Vikram Pandit Was Telling Someone That He’d Rather Hear Alec Baldwin’s Opinions On Airplane Etiquette Than Mike Mayo’s On How To Run A BankBy Bess Levin
As those of you who keep up with the trials and travails of Wall Street’s celebrity analysts know, Citigroup has not always had the best relationships with these sensitive and highly-strung individuals. At one time or another, Meredith Whitney, Dick Bové, and Mike Mayo have all had their emotions toyed with and, particularly in the case of the men, have not responded well. Bové got drunk and sent out a mass email detailing the ways in which Citi defiled her and treated her like a cheap whore not deserving of respect and a couple years back, Mike Mayo went public with his own drama, wherein he and Vikram went from being super close in 2007 to the Citi CEO going radio-silent. FOR NO REASON. FOR TWO YEARS.
When Mayo ran into Vickles in June 2010, Uncle Vik had the audacity to casually asked “How’s it going” (as though nothing had ever happened) and then, after Mike told him icily (while dying inside), “Not well, I haven’t had a word with you in two years,” had the balls to promise they’d meet before conveniently failing to follow up, once again, ignoring the Mayo Jar’s calls. Oh, the fury of an analyst twice scorned was palpable. After considering keying Vikram’s car, Mayo decided to tell clients and whoever else would listen that the bank has been inflating its profits and needs to write down $50 billion of deferred-tax assets. Then came the really low blow, which was suggesting that not even Greek God Jamie Dimon could save that shit-hole. Like sleeping with all of your ex-boyfriends friends, this finally got Pandit’s attention. He asked Mayo out, set an official date, Mike actually told reporters about the outfit he picked out weeks in advance (“a dark suit and tie he bought in Chicago– blue with some silver strips on the side” which he described as “perfect for this meeting”). Though Mike had some harsh words for Vikula once they had their face toe face (Mayo was not about to let him get off that easy, not after what he’d done), people assumed that, with a little effort on Vikram’s part, it’d all be water under the bridge and the two could move forward. And, by all outside accounts, it seemed as though they had.
Then, for whatever reason– maybe it was that VP was back to his old ways, maybe it was that someone had become a big-time author, maybe Mayo had been planning to string Vickles along the whole time and then up and drop him as payback– this happened.
Pandit, 55, is one of six co-chairs of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort this week, the first from a U.S. bank since JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon in 2008…Some of Pandit’s critics at home question whether he should take a bigger role at Davos given his bank’s underperformance. “He should be spending more time on running his company better,” said Mike Mayo, an analyst with Credit Agricole Securities in New York who has an “underperform” rating on Citigroup’s stock. “What kind of signal does that send that the bank that was the worst-performing in our country over the last decade and whose stock price is still down significantly since he took over is the ambassador for our financial industry?” “Asking Vikram Pandit about the crisis in capitalism is like asking Alec Baldwin about airplane etiquette,” Mayo said.
Pariahs No More, U.S. Bankers Ascend at Davos [Bloomberg]