Vikram Pandit's Biggest Mistake At Citi Was Taking The Job In The First Place

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Just kidding, he claims! Count Vikula spoke at a "fireside chat" at Harvard Business School yesterday, and courtesy of a Dealbreaker reader in attendance, we've got some highlights. When asked about his biggest mistakes, he first offered the crowd-pleasing, "Taking this job and then staying in it," to much laughter. Then he remembered he wasn't doing a set at Caroline's and responded that he had no "moment of catharsis" when he first arrived at the Big C, and should have communicated the trouble the bank was in faster and done more in a shorter period of time. Pandito apparently blamed the crisis on "global imbalances" and poor regulation of CDS and CDOs, and said that rebalancing and getting to a "stable platform for growth" will take "a long time" (he did not offer a timetable for getting Citi back to $55/share). On the matter of renovating his office to the tune of $10 million the jolly elfin fella characterized the situation as a "shit storm."
And speaking of human waste-- for students looking to get jobs on Wall Street, Vikula proffered the advice that they're shit outta luck. (The actual exchange was a question by HBS professor Tom DeLong, who asked if VP had "any advice for students looking to get jobs in finance" and then, realizing the absurdity of the question, considering the dearth of positions on the Street, added "...or something," to which Vikram responded with the suggestion they "go with the 'or something'.")

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