“Today at Vikram’s Bizarre & Chotchke Emporium (aka the cafeteria): Tube socks & beach towels are for sale. FML.”
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.”
Have you often wondered to yourself, does Citi’s favorite investor max and relax (indoor) poolside after a long day of riding Vikram’s ass like Zorro? Does said indoor pool have a jungle theme going on around it that includes life size ceramic elephants, antelopes and giraffes? Would the Prince’s style be best described as late eighties chic? Yes, yeah and hell fuck yeah. Read more »
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]
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.
Thought you should know, a revolt is afoot at Citi, as IT just put a block on ESPN.com. Definitely at 388 Greenwich Street, probably firmwide. During March Madness no less!
The Citi Chairman told Bloomberg today that his little CEO that could has done “a tremendous job” but “has not been given the credit that is due to him and his team. His team being all the people of Citi.” So take two today to figure out how to tell the Citi employee in your life you’re proud of the work they’ve done. Whether it involves jumping out of a cake naked or one of those mini desk Zen Gardens with card that says “One day you’ll get the life-sized version,” the thought alone would mean a lot to Dick.