Is Meredith Whitney Finished With Citi?


We casually mentioned yesterday that perhaps Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney ought cut the stand-up from her Citi reports, but only because we think her bits are much (more unintentionally) funnier when she lets the facts (“We’ve got a horrible slogan,” “We just lost a trillion dollars,” “We’re two quarters away from $10”) speak for themselves. But we got so caught up in the fact that she’d make a Stephen Hawking joke that we failed to notice that the dollar dominatrix seems to have sent the message that she’s done with big C entirely.
“We wish [Citi’s] management team all the best in their ambitious endeavors, but we fear [it] is past the point of fixing,” Whitney wrote. Does that not sound like a “Thank you and good night”? “You’ve been a great audience, but there’s really nothing left to say”? Where is she supposed to go from there? (She can't very well start recycling the dividend slashing routine at this point.) Obviously Whitney's grown weary of the 'group, and set her sights on a bigger challenge. We're thinking Merrill, but if you've got a better idea (JPMorgan), feel free to get it off your chest at this time.
Citi Is Beyond Repair [NYP]


Meredith Whitney Is Returning To Her Roots

Running a hedge fund is out, making Citigroup wish it had never been born is (back) in.

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