I know all you people want is to see Vikram Pandit and his pals flying in style but it looks like that may not happen. Or maybe it will! I really don't know what to believe. Yesterday, in response to questioning regarding Citi's possible acquisition of a $50 million, French-made Dassault Falcon 7X, Bill McNamee, head of CitiFlight Inc., told the Post, "Why should I help you when what you write will be used to the detriment of our company?" which translates to "hell fuck yeah (HFY), we bought that bitch and I'm sorry, we're not sorry we did." Then Senator Levin (D-MI)-- no relation-- got worked up over the use of taxpayer money going toward's Count Vikula's late in life dream of joining the mile high club, and Obama (via spokesman Robert Gibbs) noted that private jets aren't "the best use of money," and Rep. Frank threw in his two cents, and we had a scandal on our hands.
Now the Big C has a statement out claiming it has "no plans to take possession" of the aircraft. But at the same time, Citi spokeswoman Shannon Bell told the Post that the bank is "exploring all of its options," including "the potential lease of the aircraft," and presumably also the potential not-leasing of the aircraft. Plus, Bell also reminded us that C is in the process of selling two planes, so, really, if you think about it, they're down one, and need this thing.
UPDATE: According to Steve Liesman, Citi put out it's backtracking statement after receiving a call from a Treasury official last night.