Skip to main content

You Will Never Please Meredith Whitney

  • Author:
  • Updated:

CIBC analyst Meredith said today that Citigroup's conference call to announce Vikram Pandit as CEO went " the details were scant and the tone was defensive." To Whitney's credit, she conceded that had the details flowed like Mike's HL and the tone been lighthearted, her report probably would have reamed out the bank for trying to "distract us with particulars and failing to focus on the bigger picture" and "using a tone so delusionally optimistic, given the circumstances, that we wouldn't be surprised if the Citi brass spent its afternoons locked in Win Bischoff's office snorting E and wondering aloud why everyone's always "ragging on the 'group."
In related news, Morgan Stanley said it agrees with Bob Rub about shorting Citigroup in 2008.
Citigroup Continues Fighting the Previous War [MarketBeat]
Citigroup: Morgan Stanley's Top Short Idea for 2008 [Seeking Alpha]


Meredith Whitney: Citigroup Should Just Give Up

Earlier today, we wondered if, in light of the news that Vikram Pandit had resigned as CEO of Citigroup, analyst Meredith Whitney's opinion of the bank had changed. Choice comments that Whitney has made about the Big C in the past have included: "Citigroup is in such a mess Stephen Hawking couldn’t turn this company around"; "Citi is like an old broken-down Victorian house"; and Citi “has no earnings power, isn’t going to grow, hasn’t been investable in four years." She also once told Maria Bartiromo that the only way she'd change her mind about company would be if she received "a new brain." Still, sometimes analysts change their tune when new blood is brought in and, like former FDIC chair Sheila Bair, perhaps some of her beef with the bank had been a personal dislike of Uncle V. Now that he's gone, is she seeing Citigroup in a new light? Not so much, no. In the wake of CEO Vikram Pandit‘s surprise departure this morning, Whitney, founder and CEO of Meredith Whtney Advisory Group LLC, issued a note cautioning clients to be wary of Citigroup even under new leadership. “Citigroup is ‘the incredible shrinking bank,’ and the least interest of the big four, in our opinion,” Whitney said. “No CEO will be able to change these facts in the near-term. It appears the board feels the same way, as they have appointed an unknown to the outside to the new CEO position, Mike Corbat.” [...] On Tuesday, the stock has wavered between gains and losses on heavy trading volume in reaction to Pandit’s resignation. Shares are up 29% this year through Monday’s close. Despite signs of incremental improvement, Whitney isn’t backing down from her bearish stance. “Any seat in Citigroup’s court should come with a warning label,” Whitney says. Meredith Whitney: No CEO Can Fix Citigroup [WSJ] Earlier: Meredith Whitney Cannot Stress Enough How Little She Thinks Of Citigroup