chuckprince.jpgHere’s a tip for those of you concerned about a fast-approaching expiration date on your job—see if you can put in an application for either CEO of Citigroup or manager of the Mets, two positions in which you can apparently fuck things up beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and still not get fired. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, C’s largest individual shareholder, said that he totally backs the management of Citi (i.e. Chuck Prince), and that the bank’s 60 percent slump in third-quarter profit, perhaps due in part to a $1.4 billion writedown, was a “mere hiccup,” not unlike the Exxon Valdez oil spill—basically just a blip.
In fact, the only thing that’s been keeping the Saudi prince up at night is the question of across which medium “World’s Greatest CEO” should be printed—a mug or a t-shirt? Mugs are always a safe bet because there’s no question about size (Chuck isn’t really that big though his shoulders are pretty broad), but T’s are just so much more festive! Anyway, details. Alwaleed predicts that the Citi Prince will “normalize” performance in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Mets GM Omar Minaya told reporters yesterday that he “believes” in manager Willie Randolph. Rather than focus on the fact that he blew a seven-game lead with 17 games left in the season with unparalleled rapidity, we should dwell on all the good stuff Randolph’s done in the past three years. There’ll be a sit-down with the Wilpons, sure, but that’s just to smooth (kind of unjustifiably) ruffled feathers and make sure that Willie sticks around for the rest of his two-year, $4.25 million contract. Minaya predicts that Randolph will lead the Mets to victory in next year’s World Series.
If only there were a safe place where these two seemingly unrelated organizations could get together and speak freely of their common love and commitment to keeping horribly inept management in power (and doling out handsome rewards for such impressive failings and pratfalls). Oh, right—Citi Field, the (soon-to-be, in 2009) new home of the New York Mets (thank you for the salt, David Weidner). But don’t write off The Palace of Personal Responsibility, the naming rights for which Citi is coughing up roughly the equivalent of three years’ salary for a certain 88-win team, as simply a place where losers can celebrate their manifold losses just yet. Let’s remember that it’s also the site of Shake Shack II. And we can all agree that it’s easy to let bygones be wretched, disastrous bygones over a double Shack burger.
Citigroup Third-Quarter Profit Slump a `Hiccup,’ Alwaleed Says [Bloomberg]
Mets GM Minaya won’t fire Randolph [Newsday]
Citigroup and the Mets collapse [MarketWatch]

  • 31 Aug 2006 at 12:01 PM
  • Royals

The Last Princess

Princess T.jpgIt was just about twelve years ago that we met Princess Tatiana Von Metternich. We had been having drinks with an old Irish drunk in a part of France that was more German than French and the topic of discussion was how to avoid having to do anything that might resemble working for a living. Our proposal was marrying a wealthy young woman who we had run into on the Spanish Mediterranean.
“She’s an heiress?” Timothy asked.
“Yeah. Her grandfather invented a machine that makes extension cords or something?”
“Eh. Women who stand to inherit only money are no good. Heiress should be a dirty word. What you need, lad, is a woman from one of the old families.”
Six days later we were at a party being introduced to Tatiana Von Metternich, who was then in her late seventies and completely stunning. It made us wish we had been young during her youth, and then made us thank God we weren’t. Living your life knowing you had (at best) married the second best woman in the world would have been too painful.
Yesterday the Princess died. The world is a little less pretty and a little less magical today.

Princess Tatiana von Metternich