Page Six brings us back to the days of the last century, with a reminder that the spat between the former head of Citigroup, Sandy Weill, and business reporter Charlie Gasparino still keeps on keeping on.
CNBC's Charlie Gasparino, formerly with the Wall Street Journal, is talking to a lawyer about possibly suing Weill for defamation because the book casts doubts on the accuracy of Gasparino's reporting.
Gasparino broke some of the juicier stories of Wall Street misconduct, including the bribery scandal that ended Weill's Wall Street career last April.
"Mr. Weill can have any opinion of me that he wants," Gasparino told The Post's Suzanne Kapner last month. "But when he ascribes certain actions of mine as fact, and he is wrong, then I have a problem with it."
Gasparino's lawyer, Mark Schwartz, said, "The argument could be made that maybe Sandy Weill fixates on Charles Gasparino as the source of his problems, and maybe there is some malice there."
Need a refresher? Oh, come on. You remember. This was back before the business scandals were all backdating this and backdating that. Back then it was all about a nursery school, a phone company and a phony research call. After the jump, we party like it's 1999.
'Real' Mad at Wall St. Mogul [New York Post]
You see, Gasparino was the reporter with the scoop on a scandal at Salomon. A scandal that, as they say, went All The Way To The Top. Eliot Spitzer was investigating charges that telecom analyst Jack Grubman had upgraded his rating of AT&T to help Salomon land the job as underwriter for the upcoming IPO of AT&T’s wireless business. Gasparino, then at the Wall Street Journal, was the first to report that Spitzer had obtained emails that seemed to show that Grubman had fixed his rating of AT&T in exchange for Weill helping get his kids into the nursery school at the 92nd Street Y. Citigroup eventually donated a million bucks to the Y.
Weill, of course, still denies the quid pro quo, and spends quite a few pages of his memoir explaining that because the donation came after Grubman’s kids were admitted into the school, it totally couldn’t have been made to secure the admission. Totally.
(There’s also this weird tick thank both Weill and his wife have when they talk about Gasparino. Here’s page 436 of Weill’s memoir: “Benefiting from selective leaks, a Wall Street Journal reported named Charles Gasparino…” The memoir ends with an interview with Joan Weill, who says, “…someone leaked it to a reporter named Charles Gasparino at the Wall Street Journal.” We suppose it's accurate enough, but it's kind of weird that they have given Charlie a epithet.)