For those of you who failed to mark it down on your calendars, please be advised that today is Vikram Pandit’s birthday (his 54th to be exact). Normally we’d tell you to drop what you’re doing and pick up something for him A-SAP but this year we’d advise you to go the no presents route. Not because Vickles is one of those faux modest jerks who says “no gifts, just your company” while not really meaning it but because we can say with absolute certainty that you will not top the gift to end all gifts Vikula is already poised to receive. Dick Parsons, if you’ll do the honors. Read more »
Inspector General: Government’s Decision To Bailout Citigroup In ’08 Based Less On “Facts” Than “Feeling Like They Were Going To Soil Themselves”By Bess Levin
“While there was consensus that Citigroup was too systemically significant to be allowed to fail, that consensus appeared to be based as much on gut instinct and fear of the unknown as on objective criteria,” according to a report today from Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. “The conclusion of the various government actors that Citigroup had to be saved was strikingly ad hoc.” [Bloomberg]
For the last few years or so, Citi has been shown relatively little respect by market participants. That may have had to do with the fact that the bank was not a very desirable asset, having decided during the Sandy Weill era that big is beautiful. Unfortunately the C went a little too far with the idea, making it it’s business to consume everything in arm’s reach. It quite literally became “too big to fail,” and the only attention it got was negative. Receiving the sort of admiration and compliments afforded to a place like Goldman or JPMorgan was out of the question; the nicest thing you could say about C was it would take home plenty of ribbons at a pie eating contest– “best digestion,” etc. And Vickles ain’t gonna lie the jabs stung. But now? Post-makeover that’s included shedding assets, slimming down and getting back to the “core” business? Vikram is feeling hot. Regulation hottie hot. And not just when he and C look in the mirror, but in the eyes of the Street.
Pandit touted moves the bank has made to streamline its operations—winding down Citi Holdings, selling assets and improving efficiency in its global operations. The holding company was separated from Citi’s general operations to get rid of the toxic assets that remained on the company balance sheet.
“…the markets are increasingly recognizing who we are…” Pandit told CNBC. The company has made progression in its global business and trading arms and will “have the market appreciate even more what Citi is,” he added.
Oh that’s right, ladies. Citi has actually beat Goldman Sachs (and Morgan Stanley) at something. True, it’s the number of times the bank tapped the Federal Reserve’s credit facilities but they will take what they can get! Read more »
When you’re applying for a gig on Wall Street these days, you’ve got to do something that will set you apart from the crowd. Jobs are scarce and while anyone can tell a firm why they should be hired, few go the extra mile to show. Armed with this knowledge and the knowledge that competition for positions at Citi is fierce, one recent applicant knew she had to raise the stakes. She didn’t just send Citi a resume and cover letter indicating her interest and qualifications– anyone can do that. She sent them an 11-page presentation entitled “I’m Always Awake With Citi: 9 Reasons Why You SHOULD Hire Me As Your Investment Banking Analyst” filled with headers like “Smart” and lotsa clip art. Perhaps it was the reasons, perhaps it was the fact that she appealed to someone at Citi’s love of its insomniac tagline, but we’re told she’s been asked to come in next week. (We’re also told she created similar presentations for other banks, such as BAML, which has also invited her to stop by next week, and that she has interviews set up with “several” firms. Citi may be her “dream,” but they’re not the only ones who should be offered a piece of this and girlfriend is a hustler.) Job-seekers, take note.
Subject: Citi Investment Banking Analyst Application
I’m here to apply for Investment Banking Analyst position in Citi, my dream job in dream company. I’m graduating business school in Dec 2010, so I can start work in January 2011. My cover letter and resume are attached and I will appreciate it very much if you could do me favor to talk a look or forward them to other hiring managers.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks very much.
Kingdom Holding Co. said the investment firm and its chairman, Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, invested $500 million in General Motors Co.’s recent initial public offering. The transaction represents 1% of the value of GM’s subscriptions, Kingdom Holding said Tuesday in a statement emailed to Zawya Dow Jones. The firm cited “the global strength of the General Motors brand, the relatively attractive offering price, and the company’s growth prospects in Brazil and China.” [WSJ]
Pretty simple, really: nobody else has the skills to destroy investment banks, investor capital, etc. You think any shmoe on the corner could do that? I think not. Just like the NFL. Read more »
Citi Clients Not As Understanding As Firm Would’ve Thought About Funds That Lost Them Their Entire Investment, Currently Being Investigated By The SECBy Bess Levin
From 2002 to 2007, Citi raised $2.8 billion from clients to invest in a couple of fund series called MAT Finance LLC, which invested in municipal bonds and was eventually leveraged 8:1 and Falcon, which invested in mortgage debt. Despite the former being marketed as “an attractive alternative to a bond index” and the latter receiving an S&P rating “equivalent to safe, medium-term government bonds,” anyone who bet on the funds lost what might be characterized as “a metric ass-ton of their money.”
For exampe, the funds a team of brokers from Smith Barney put their clients in fell an impressive 80% to 97% from May 2007 to March 2008. Though Citi claims no foul play and offered to cover approximately one-eighth of clients’ losses, the SEC still felt the need to launch an investigation into whether or not the bank’s employees adequately disclosed the funds’ risks and/or mismanaged them. And apparently investors are still pretty miffed about the whole thing, which one broker, Michael Johnston, intuited by the response he got from one when suggesting a sweet buyback deal that would’ve translated to the client only losing 72% and promising not to sue Citi. Read more »
Mike Mayo Was Once Stranded Without Cash, Couldn’t Find An ATM, Had To Go To A Deli And Pay A $3 Fee, And Now Citi Is Paying The PriceBy Bess Levin
“The A.T.M.’s are inside the building, tough to find (no signs to point out) and wedged in a corner in a glass room between a vacant store and the stub end of a small newsstand. Moreover, the A.T.M. requires paper envelops for making deposits,” Mayo wrote in his latest report. “In contrast, nearby Chase and Bank of America A.T.M.’S are more sophisticated and do not require the use of envelopes.” [Dealbook]
As you may have heard, on Friday Citigroup held a call with Brian Lenihan, Ireland’s Finance Minister. Here’s how it was described by the Telegraph:
The call with Brian Lenihan and hundreds of investors rapidly descended into farce, forcing Citigroup, which staged the event, to pull the plug. The treatment of the minister, which comes as Ireland faces a standoff with a group of hedge funds over its rescue plan for Anglo Irish Bank, will increase tensions between the country and the debt markets. Mr Lenihan had been speaking for less than two minutes on Friday before a mistake by Citigroup meant that the bank’s clients were all able to be heard on the line. Between 200 and 500 investors are understood to have been on the call, and as they realised their lines were not muted many began to heckle Mr Lenihan. Some traders began making what one banker on the call described as “chimp sounds”, while another cried out “dive, dive”. A third man said “short Ireland” before adding “why not short Citi too?” As the call descended into chaos, with one participant heard to say “this is the worst conference call ever”, Citigroup officials shut down the line.
First off– “worst” conference call or best conference call ever? And second, Lenihan claims the whole thing never happened. Citi’s clients love him/Ireland and this was an attempt by the press to make him look bad. Read more »