Meredith Whitney is a banking analyst made famous by downgrading Citigroup in late October 2007, saying that the bank was facing a $30 billion capital shortfall and later telling the press “Citigroup is in such a mess Stephen Hawking couldn’t turn this company around.” In the years since she’s had less than flattering things to say about the firm and as recently as March 14, 2012, told CNBC that Citi “has no earnings power, isn’t going to grow, hasn’t been investable in four years” and “is like an old broken-down Victorian house.” (In the same interview, she told Maria Bartiromo that the only way she’d change her mind about the big C would be if she received “a new brain.”) So it probably surprised a few people when, earlier this month, she upgraded the bank. But please, do not get the mistaken impression that she’s suddenly in love with the place or has developed any feelings for it whatsoever. Fact of the matter is, the mere thought of the place still sickens her.

While her latest move was seen as an endorsement of Citi, Whitney said not to read too much into the call. “It certainly doesn’t mean I’m running into the loving arms of Citigroup or I’ve become bullish on Citigroup. What it means is I don’t see any near-term negative catalyst for the company,” she said. “In the collective it’s not that interesting of a stock.”

Ya hear that, Citi? Not if you were the last two people on earth!

Whitney ‘Wildly Bullish’ on Certain US Markets, But… [CNBC]

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Comments (65)

  1. Posted by Guest | April 25, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    You could land a helicopter on that chin

  2. Posted by Somebody | April 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I'd rather not.

  3. Posted by Guest | April 25, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    "who dropped a house on her sister." Well, well done.

  4. Posted by The Dude | April 25, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Hey Meredith, how's that muni default coming?

    -Citi

  5. Posted by Guest | April 26, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Good to see I'm not the only one with doubts about Stephen Hawking's abilities.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKXz2qDTiBU#t=0m35

  6. Posted by -vikram | April 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    still wud

  7. Posted by guest | April 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    I cannot stress enough how little I think of Meredith Whitney…

  8. Posted by Capt. Sully | April 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    No, you couldn't. But I could.

  9. Posted by Dick Fuld | April 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Meredith Whitney is still hanging onto her 15 minutes of fame? Jesus that women needs to take a hint…

  10. Posted by Jill Kennedy | April 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Reminder… Meredith Whitney is often wrong… http://mankabros.com/blogs/onmedea/2010/01/22/mer

  11. Posted by Tanker2Banker | April 26, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    She said that “Citigroup is in such a mess Stephen Hawking couldn’t turn this company around", but there were so few people around to listen it actually sounded more like "turn this company around.. around… around… round"

  12. Posted by streethockey | April 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Hahahahahhahahahahahha. Ha. Ha. Sorry, the mounds of money that I use to massage myself tickle sometimes. You were saying something, Meri?
    -R. Rubin

  13. Posted by jerome | August 14, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    She has since followed this report with similar reports and predictions, which have tended to leave the companies involved with lower stock prices as the market has taken her opinion seriously. One of her claims is that goodwill is built into a lot of companies' share prices, and that as the market moves into dark times, this goodwill will dissipate. American Leather discount

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    Whitney said in September 2010 that the United States is in so much financial trouble that the Federal Reserve will have to inject about a trillion dollar stimulus package, for the third time, to fix the budget gap.

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    Meredith Whitney is a well known banking analyst and founder of the Meredith Whitney Advisory Group. Whitney was in the papers for making bearish calls on the banking industry including an accurate prediction that Citigroup would cut dividends in 2008. She also joined Warren Buffett in raising alarms about the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market and it's potential for widespread defaults.

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    Large financial institutions investing in markets are often called institutional investors and are distinguished from smaller or retail investors because they transact large values of securities at a time and so generally face fewer regulatory restrictions. They include asset managers, private and public pension funds, insurance companies and charitable foundations among others.

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    She predicted this during her appearance on the broadcast of the CBS program 60 Minutes. Since the record amount of money lost in one year through municipal bond defaults is $8.2 billion, Ms. Whitney's comments about hundreds of billions in losses drew a great deal of attention, much of it critical.

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    Whitney graduated from The Madeira School in 1987 before doing a post-graduate year at The Lawrenceville School. She was a member of the first co-ed graduating class of The Lawrenceville School. She graduated with honors from Brown University.

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    (In the same interview, she told Maria Bartiromo that the only way she’d change her mind about the big C would be if she received “a new brain.”)

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    It certainly doesn’t mean I’m running into the loving arms of Citigroup or I’ve become bullish on Citigroup.

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