• 16 Oct 2012 at 3:57 PM

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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Comments (37)

  1. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    "the Big C"

    Alternatively, a reference to Meredith Whitney…

  2. Posted by InfiniteGuest | October 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    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. Posted by david byrne | October 16, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    big cheese?

  4. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    One down, one to go.

    –Guy waiting on Dick Bove's opinion

  5. Posted by HungryIntern | October 16, 2012 at 4:20 PM

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

    ~failed theorems everywhere

  6. Posted by Nasty Nate | October 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    the Big Cheddar………Salad!"

  7. Posted by Jimmy Buffet | October 16, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Cahuna?

  8. Posted by Internet Cat | October 16, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Maybe Bess meant Ronnie Hawkins(?)

  9. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM

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

  10. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    If only Tom Brady had called Vikram…

  11. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Chief?

  12. Posted by guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    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. Posted by guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    His consulting days were brought to an end when he was criticized for leadership that was "a little shaky" in the latest turnaround effort.

  14. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Too soon. Best to wait till after the Jets game when he'll be in better spirits.

  15. Posted by Magic 8-Ball | October 16, 2012 at 4:40 PM

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

  16. Posted by VonSloneker | October 16, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    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

  17. Posted by Aging Fat Guy | October 16, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    More like "Stephen tha Black Hole", actually.

  18. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    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.

  19. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Why is she talking??

  20. Posted by that's better | October 16, 2012 at 4:54 PM

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

    MW

  21. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Banner ads are the future of all human interaction!

    -M. Zuckerburg

  22. Posted by guest | October 16, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    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... ]

  23. Posted by HungryIntern | October 16, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    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

  24. Posted by Everyone at Citi | October 16, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    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)

  25. Posted by guesticles | October 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    what?

  26. Posted by S Ermotti & S Hester | October 17, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Vikram lacked leadership attributes.

  27. Posted by guest | October 17, 2012 at 12:49 AM

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

  28. Posted by guest | October 17, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    one hit wonder trying to make a comeback

  29. Posted by Ta Da! | October 17, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    Wait for it…..

  30. Posted by VonSloneker | October 17, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    You'd better not be insinuating she looks like me…I'll cut you

    - Laura Linney

  31. Posted by Guest | October 17, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    that would be Gartman…you farging icehole

  32. Posted by Moroni | October 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Knock it off, cork-soaker.

  33. Posted by D. Hester | October 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    YUUUUUUP.

  34. Posted by guest | October 17, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    If she want's her comeback, she can just give me a BJ.

  35. Posted by Scarecrow | October 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Overrated.

  36. Posted by VonSloneker | October 17, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    MacGyver > Odysseus

    - Analogy Ghost Writer

  37. Posted by Stevie Boy | October 18, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day

    - wise old man once say