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Hey! Let's Take A Meeting To Discuss Our Stock Price Being In The Toilet

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When it was reported yesterday that Citi, laughing in the face of John Thain's mistakes, was undertaking a $10 million renovation to Vikram Pandit and his lieutenants' offices, we were skeptical the bank could come up with a reason why the redecorations were necessary and not a waste of (taxpayer) money. This was their first attempt:

Senior executives in our corporate headquarters are moving from two floors to smaller, simpler offices on a single floor...Based on estimates made when the project was initiated, we expect to generate savings in the next few years well in excess of the project costs.

Kind of a fail. But they came back today with more, and now we're almost convinced this really will help the Big C in the long run:

The new floor plan features offices with glass walls, designed to create a more open atmosphere. It has common areas to encourage spontaneous meetings of executives, according to people familiar with the matter.

Plus, sacrifices are being made, and those should not go uncounted:

People familiar with the company's plans said that certain design elements have been nixed since the initial planning phase, including a Zen garden.

Vikram Pandit Will Have To Get His Zen Garden Elsewhere
Citi Defends A Redesign, Plans Reverse Stock Split [WSJ]


Accused Madam Didn't Sit Through Countless Meetings Discussing Capital Markets Strategy To Be Treated Like Some Common Pimp

Remember Anna Gristina/Scotland? To recap, she's the entrepreneur we were introduced to yesterday whose business hit a bit of a stumbling block when she was arrested by the Manhattan DA and charged with "promoting prostitution" out of her firm's global headquarters, a whorehouse on East 78th Street. Gristina/Scotland is currently on Riker's Island, having been unable to post bail, set at $2 million but prior to all this going down, she she was just a (self-described) CEO with big plans and an outlook not so different from her colleagues in the business world. Before being nailed as part of a 5-year investigation, a typical day for Anna included: - Cursing her commute: "She hated coming to the city," a friend told the Post. - Reminding people she was running a Fortune 500 company here: She bragged to her old friends back in Scotland that she was “building an empire." “I’m a CEO,” she wrote to one pal from her early days in the ancient village of Kirkliston. “Takes a lot of work,” she told another. - Meeting with colleagues to discuss expansion plans, financing options, and potential IPO timeline: On the morning she was arrested, Gristina/Scotland was "with a friend and Morgan Stanley banker, having been to his office for a meeting to try to raise money to finance what prosecutors believe may be an online prostitution business." (Anna's lawyers argue she "was setting up a legal dating business, hoping to rival online titan") - Bitching about Obama and how the guy's adolescent perspective of carried interest was going to screw her over: “Hoping to survive Obama,” she said in 2008. “Obama wants people like me to support the rest of America by taxing me more than I am already.” Dig a little deeper and you'll presumably also find Gristina/Scotland also conducted quarterly earnings calls with investors, used all kinds of financial metrics to measure performance of her hooker employees, plotted acquisitions, and tried to cut costs while expanding her global footprint. Basically, she was building a multi-billion dollar company here and if anyone thinks she's not going to fight these charges and come back stronger they think wrong. UES madam had millionaire clients, led life of suburban mom [NYP] Anna Gristina: Suburban mom or high-rolling madam? [AP] Suspected Manhattan madam Anna Gristina bragged to old friends in Scotland that she was 'building an empire' [NYDN] Earlier: Manhattan DA Pumps The Brakes On Mom/Madam’s Brothel Just As It Was About To Really Take Off With The Help Of Her Contacts In The Business World