“Today at Vikram’s Bizarre & Chotchke Emporium (aka the cafeteria): Tube socks & beach towels are for sale. FML.”
Did you think Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were going to be the only ones subjected to cavity searches by the US government? Think again, mon chi-chis! Charlie Gasparino reports that you should all be girding your loins.
The government has ramped up its investigation of Wall Street’s sale of toxic securities during the financial crisis to include firms other than Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Sources tell FOX Business that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s most active investigations so far also include Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, two of the biggest packagers of the toxic debt, known as collateralized debt obligations, that are at the center of the government’s interest.
4:30: Citi is hosting a call right now entitled “The Panic Button – What Happened?”
Amusingly (suspiciously!) this call was planned before the shit hit the fan, possibly weeks ago, to discuss “what is happening in global funding, foreign exchange, credit and equity markets.” At least that’s what they want us to believe.
4:35: Armando Diaz, Citi’s US Head of Franchise Trading takes the mic. “As believer of market efficiency and sniffing out the truth we were concerned about the Citi rumors.”
“We have done a very thorough examination multiple times in terms of trading logs, systems, runs”
“We have not found any info that would lead us to believe we were involved in a technical error” (so S a D, CNBC) Read more »
A couple weeks ago, when the Schnitzel & Things food truck, purveyor of “thin, deep-fried cutlets,” was forced by the cops to leave its regular corner on 54th and Lex, the owners were pretty surprised. Particularly when they were told the alleged reason, which was that there’d been a complaint from inside the building, where Citi has offices, and that if they didn’t hit the bricks, they’d be cited as a “terrorist threat.”
“I was stunned,” said Gene Voss. “I asked the police officer, ‘Let me get this straight, this building is complaining that I might be a terrorist threat?’ I mean, I’m just selling schnitzel.”
Well into the crisis period, when banks such as Citigroup were operating on federal investment and when Citi’s stock was in single digits, Vikram Pandit, the CEO, was observed with a lunch guest at Le Bernardin, one of the top-rated restaurants in New York. Pandit looked discerningly at the wine list, saw nothing by the glass that appealed, and ordered a $350 bottle so that, as he explained, he could savor “a glass of wine worth drinking.” Pandit drank just one glass; his friend had none.
Please tell me he made a big show of swishing it around in his mouth, inhaling it with his eyes closed, sending back the first bottle and backhanding the idiot waiter. Please tell me all that.
Book Excerpt: Roger Lowenstein’s “The End of Wall Street” [BusinessWeek]
Rubin’s got “regrets” and Prince is “deeply sorry” that management wasn’t more “prescient.” Also, you should know, that since taking up early retirement, Chuck has “given a great deal of thought to the unique events that led to the financial crisis and which bring us here today.” Read more »
Nobody really listened to him much though, probably because the subject lines of his emails to Bob Rubin and Co were fairly mundane (“THIS LOOKS REALLY FUCKING BAD, FELLAS”) and he forgot to mark them high alert. Just kidding, of course, that’s exactly what he did.
When Vikram Pandit first joined Citi, he was a happy, smiley Uncle Vik. And why shouldn’t he have been? The bank had just laid out hundreds of millions of dollars to land him and he was thisclose to buying Tony Randall’s apartment. Plus, he’s just always had a sunny disposition.
Despite the fact that that his hedge fund was eventually put out to pasture after its all-too-short two years of (mis)managing money, and a precipitously falling stock price, nothing could get him down. As time went on though, they started to break him. A certain analyst made a habit of hiding in his closet, waiting ’til he fell asleep and then popping out, tying him up and shoving a sock in his mouth. Jamie Dimon called him a “jerk” on a conference call. The government outfitted him with an ankle monitoring bracelet and a boot up the ass. Citi was removed from the Dow. He made a promise not to take more than a $1 salary per year and who knew when the Christ that was going to happen. He was told he couldn’t have a Zen Garden. It was all too much to bear and Vickles had a major case of the sads. He lost weight. And because he lost weight he was forced to close his Tickle a Vickle booth in the office on Park (people don’t wait in line for hours to Tickle an anorexic Vickle). The whole thing was depressing to watch, let alone experience personally and we spent a good deal of time wondering if we’d ever have the old Vik back. It seemed unlikely. Today though? JOYOUS NEWS TO THE CONTRARY.
Some of Mr. Pandit’s most trusted advisers notice a new bounce in his step and say he is more energetic at meetings.
Last week we discussed the matter of Citi employee Dorly Hazan Amir, an associate in Citigroup’s asset finance division who is suing the bank on the grounds that she was mommy-tracked. DHA claimed that “supervisors have discriminated against her because of here gender since the beginning of her tenure” and that when she became pregnant, “the attitude of her bosses reportedly worsened,” with one manager asking H-A if she planned to be a “career mom” or a “mom mom.” DHA also said that her pregnancy “became the butt of jokes in the office as my male co-workers discussed setting up a pool to discuss how much weight I would gain as a result of my pregnancy.” While not taking sides, we noted the time that this was pretty inventive, especially considering the idea came from the Big C Brain Trust and not Goldman, which should’ve come up with it first for their resident mom. Now more of DHA’s allegations have come out and all we have to say is this: CAN’T YOU PEOPLE DO ANYTHING RIGHT??? The answer is apparently no. Read more »
This doesn’t affect you people directly so much as it will potentially affect me but I just want to put it out there that the news New York Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler has accepted a job at Citigroup as executive vice president of global public affairs has me supremely amped. And not just because he’ll do right by Mr. Vikram, but also because of this:
Mr. Skyler, recruited by the city Parks Department from the University of Pennsylvania, was just 28 when the mayor made him his press secretary. In that job, he fiercely protected Mr. Bloomberg’s image, flashing anger and unleashing expletives at reporters.