First of all Citigroup has..$180 billion in cash, and I believe they have another $60 billion in securities which are guaranteed by the US government, treasuries or agencies. So what we are talking about is roughly 11%, or one out of every $9 on Citigroup’s balance sheet is cash. That is an unusually high number. It is extraordinarily strong and it would suggest that the balance sheet is in very good condition…The company is over-capitalized. The company has excess liquidity and that is the basis of growing the earnings at an unusually rapid rate into the future and if people are buying stocks based on what is supposed to happen in the future, as opposed to the Iliad or ancient history then I think Citigroup’s balance sheet looks pretty good.
Earlier we mentioned that after getting his hopes up vis-a-vis earning more than a buck a year, the Citi board had decided its commander in chief would not get a raise from his current salary. Such is not the case. Read more »
The past couple years have been something of a kick the pants for Vikram Pandit and certainly not what he was expecting when he agreed to take on the role of Citi CEO in exchange for almost a billion dollars, plus the keys to his lemon, otherwise known as Old Lane. Previously a smiley, jolly fellow of a sunny disposition, he lost weight and found himself in something of a funk. Then, in April, things started to look up. “Vikram is looking and sounding a lot more confident and secure,” a top lieutenant told the Times. “He has a smile on his face.” And why? “He sees the day when he is going to earn more than a $1 a year.” Today, someone felt the need to come along and knock the wind out of those sails (of hope). Read more »
Recently, Mike Mayo has gotten into a bit of public with Citigroup. To recap, a few weeks back, the analyst started telling clients and whoever else will listen that the bank is inflating its profits and needs to a write down $50 billion of deferred-tax assets. For the offense, Citi apparently froze Mayo out, denying him any and all access to Vikram Pandit. This, being the worst thing you can do to a person, made Mayo hit harder, musing that maybe we can’t trust Citi at all. Somewhere along the way Charlie Gasparino got wind of all this and made it public, meaning Citi had to be all, “Mike Mayo? LOVVVVE him. There’s no freeze out, Vik’s just been really busy finalizing his fantasy football team, is all.” Citi has graciously extended an offer for Mayo to come over on October 1, which he’s accepted, at which time they probably think a little face time and sweet talking from Uncle Vik will be all that’s necessary to get Michael to upgrade Citi to “fucking awesome” in his book. According to Charlie Gasparino, that may not be the case. Mayo’s next note will more likely be along the lines of “we are about two quarters from consigning this dump to the scrap heap of corporate history.” Read more »
As mentioned last week, analyst Mike Mayo has been going around telling clients and whoever else will listen that the bank is inflating its profits and needs to a write down $50 billion of deferred-tax assets. For the offense, Citi has, according to Charlie Gasparino, frozen Mayo out. No one-on-ones in Pandit’s office, no phone interviews, and he’s even blocked from Uncle Vik on IM, which has got to chap some serious hide. On Friday, fellow analyst Dick Bové inserted himself into the situation, coming out and claiming Mayo be talking shit, and that Citi is “not cooking the books.” Today, Mayo went on.
“We believe that Citigroup’s financial targets can encourage short-term excesses over long-term prudence,” Mayo wrote in a note to clients titled “A Matter of Trust.” Mayo, an analyst at the securities firm CLSA, added: “Citi has an aggressive financial target of 5% asset growth when so much of its past problems stem from excessive asset growth.”