“Don’t go expecting a movie that will give you some great intellectual or emotional insights into the Wall Street crisis. Sure, there are the obligatory “life on the trading floor” scenes and quasi-faithful recreations of arguments between Treasury and Wall Street at the oak-paneled New York Fed. And there are lots of cameos of CNBC anchors and Nouriel Roubini (as “Dr. Hashimi”) to give the movie “authenticity.” But the authenticity is as phony as Bernie Madoff’s investment returns. How many Fordham-educated prop traders with the last name “Moore” speak fluent Mandarin?” [WSJ via BI]
not a rhetorical question
At last week’s Citi annual investor meeting, one shareholder suggested that the bank “hire the best public relations firm in all the land,” in order to put itself back on the path to success. We don’t necessarily disagree (though we would add that there are other things the Big C might considering doing as well)! Apparently, though, they’ve yet to hire anyone for the job, given this morning’s latest whoops. As you’re aware, Citigroup has asked Daddy Geithner permission to pay special bonuses to many “key employees,” namely those at its trading unit, Phibro, who are threatening to leave unless Vikram coughs up the dough. Employess like Andrew Hall. He runs Phibro. And, as reported last year by the Journal, he also owns this German castle.
Hall, by all accounts, seems like a cool guy who, more to the point, earned Citi a decent amount of pocket change last year. Obviously, though, that won’t much matter when the masses get a hold of the castle business, which reads so much worse than, like “mansion” or “big ass house” or even “chateau.” I guess the one argument Citi could make is that people who own castles are exactly the sort of prima donnas who would throw a hissy fit and say stuff like “if I walk out that door I’m never coming back!” But yeah, somehow we see this one not working out.
Citigroups Andrew Hall Has Castle, Demands Bonus [Daily Intel]