Citigroup has just learned that hell hath no fury like a chafed Dick. Yesterday, CFO Gary Crittenden popped in on a little gathering run by Deutsche Bank's Mike Mayo. While breaking bread and shooting the shit with a couple of buy-siders, Crittenden casually mentioned that the banking behemoth (gettin' smaller every day though!) would probably have some sort of writedowns related to leveraged loans and bond insurers in the second quarter. All-smay oblem-pray. It appears the Critter may have flaked on the rule about disclosing material information to everyone at the same time. You know, the whole Reg. FD thing. And apparently Punk Ziegel analyst Dick Bove--not invited to the klatch-- wasn't prepared to issue him a pass one this one. So you know what Bove did about it? Went circus-freak crazy and put out a report wherein he rained righteous indignation down on Lil' Vik and the Critter's ass. Sayeth Dick:
The fashion by which the company made this information available is questionable and unacceptable to this analyst. The company did put out a press release indicating that the call would be held but not to all investors. The call was handled so only one analyst and the clients of his firm could ask questions. Material information was made available but it is open to question if it was made available in a fair and honest fashion to all investors. Perhaps SEC FD is dead. Shame on Citigroup.
Regaining his composure, and holding his left arm akimbo and his right hand up in the air in the classic female "You are not worth my tears, I am bigger than this" pose, Dick added:
Despite the upset today, I am maintaining the Buy recommendation on the stock based on the improved performance of the core business and the positive longer term outlook.
But you know he told his girlfriends over drinks later that night, "I swear, this is the last time. If he tries to pull this shit on me again, I am taking back my bull call and downgrading the whole fucking sector to Sell."
More Big Write-Downs Loom for Citigroup, Executive Says [NYT]