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Even Meredith Whitney Is Going, "Okay, Now You're Just Being Silly"

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So this little debate about when things will be good again-- Blankfein claims "We're closer to the end than the beginning," while Eclectica Asset Management's Hugh Hendry predicts financial stocks will take TWENTY FIVE YEARS to recover from the subprime incident. I don't know who to believe: Jew or hyperbolist (as you know, I'm partial to both). On the one hand, Blankfein reminded us recently that he's paid the big bucks to know what he's talking about. On the other, Hendry's estimate is just so much more amusing (which is really what this whole business is about, having a good laugh). Twenty five years? Most of you will be dead by then. I'll be 48 and still working for Carney at DB, and wishing I were dead. The only thing that could possibly get me through a life that would so closely resemble hell would be if Hendry's other comical prediction (which is not to say it won't come true, just that it makes me laugh) came to pass-- Citi trading at less than $10 a share.
Hedge funder Hendry on why we'll be down for 25 years [The Deal]
A Light In The Tunnel [NYP]


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