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Meredith Whitney: Citigroup Should Just Give Up

Earlier today, we wondered if, in light of the news that Vikram Pandit had resigned as CEO of Citigroup, analyst Meredith Whitney’s opinion of the bank had changed. Choice comments that Whitney has made about the Big C in the past have included: “Citigroup is in such a mess Stephen Hawking couldn’t turn this company around“; “Citi is like an old broken-down Victorian house“; and Citi “has no earnings power, isn’t going to grow, hasn’t been investable in four years.” She also once told Maria Bartiromo that the only way she’d change her mind about company would be if she received “a new brain.” Still, sometimes analysts change their tune when new blood is brought in and, like former FDIC chair Sheila Bair, perhaps some of her beef with the bank had been a personal dislike of Uncle V. Now that he’s gone, is she seeing Citigroup in a new light?

Not so much, no.

In the wake of CEO Vikram Pandit‘s surprise departure this morning, Whitney, founder and CEO of Meredith Whtney Advisory Group LLC, issued a note cautioning clients to be wary of Citigroup even under new leadership. “Citigroup is ‘the incredible shrinking bank,’ and the least interest of the big four, in our opinion,” Whitney said. “No CEO will be able to change these facts in the near-term. It appears the board feels the same way, as they have appointed an unknown to the outside to the new CEO position, Mike Corbat.” […] On Tuesday, the stock has wavered between gains and losses on heavy trading volume in reaction to Pandit’s resignation. Shares are up 29% this year through Monday’s close. Despite signs of incremental improvement, Whitney isn’t backing down from her bearish stance. “Any seat in Citigroup’s court should come with a warning label,” Whitney says.

So just, you know, pack it in. No one can fix this thing, might as well come to terms with it now. You want her to say something good about the place, shut the bank down and turn it into a Michaels crafts store. Then we’ll talk.

Meredith Whitney: No CEO Can Fix Citigroup [WSJ]
Earlier: Meredith Whitney Cannot Stress Enough How Little She Thinks Of Citigroup

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37 Responses to “Meredith Whitney: Citigroup Should Just Give Up”

  1. Guest says:

    "the Big C"

    Alternatively, a reference to Meredith Whitney…

  2. InfiniteGuest says:

    Hawking being famous since his McKinsey days as an expert at corporate turnarounds. "Stephen the Knife," we used to call him, only half in jest.

  3. david byrne says:

    big cheese?

  4. Guest says:

    One down, one to go.

    –Guy waiting on Dick Bove's opinion

  5. HungryIntern says:

    Am I the only person who is confused with the Hawking analogy?

    ~failed theorems everywhere

  6. Nasty Nate says:

    the Big Cheddar………Salad!"

  7. Jimmy Buffet says:

    Cahuna?

  8. Internet Cat says:

    Maybe Bess meant Ronnie Hawkins(?)

  9. Guest says:

    How'd her call on the pending apocalyptic muni bankruptcy turn out?

  10. Guest says:

    If only Tom Brady had called Vikram…

  11. Guest says:

    Chief?

  12. guest says:

    Her point was that SH is a genius and even he couldn't fix Citi…

    [Related: MW really likes this analogy: http://dealbreaker.com/2008/11/meredith-whitney-r… ]

  13. guest says:

    Her point was that SH is a genius and even he couldn't fix Citi…

    [Related: MW really likes this analogy: http://dealbreaker.com/2008/11/meredith-whitney-r… ]

  14. Magic 8-Ball says:

    Obviously he already knew about it. He's just been waiting for the rest of us to catch up.

  15. VonSloneker says:

    Is Dealbreaker exclusively guns, ammo, and hunting related banners for everyone…or has search related ad targeting been unleashed upon us?

    – Guy who imagines some commenters flashing Bangkok "Lady-Boy" banners

  16. Guest says:

    DB has gotten a bit crazy. My screen is filled with ads for love dolls and lower west side sushi restaurants…makes it a bit hard to fake like I'm getting any work done here, Bess.

  17. Guest says:

    Why is she talking??

  18. that's better says:

    "The only way I'd change my mind is if I received a brain"

    MW

  19. Guest says:

    Banner ads are the future of all human interaction!

    -M. Zuckerburg

  20. HungryIntern says:

    SH’s main theorem was discredited by a Prof. from CalTech, hence stating that SH is a genius is swell, but not accurate. Yes, it was a nice attempt by MW to use SH in an analogy, but a complete failure, just like her use of her classics major. A better analogy would have been, “Not even Odysseus could have figured out a way to save Citi from Citi.”

    ~but like what ever

  21. Everyone at Citi says:

    Meredith – um, what part about Vikram and that bald-headed fuck Havens getting ousted from Citi – and being replaced by someone with *gasp* institutional knowledge – being a very good thing are you not understanding? Haters gonna hate, even one trick ponies (and you are quite the pony)

  22. guesticles says:

    what?

  23. S Ermotti & S Hester says:

    Vikram lacked leadership attributes.

  24. guest says:

    sorry, but what is the "lower west side"?

  25. guest says:

    one hit wonder trying to make a comeback

  26. Ta Da! says:

    Wait for it…..

  27. Guest says:

    that would be Gartman…you farging icehole

  28. Scarecrow says:

    Overrated.

  29. VonSloneker says:

    MacGyver > Odysseus

    – Analogy Ghost Writer

  30. Stevie Boy says:

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day

    – wise old man once say

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