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Charlie Gasparino: Bob Rubin Can't Sleep At Night

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According to Chaz, something's eating away at former Citigroup consigliere Bobby Rubin. Something that absolutely torments him. Tears him up inside. Prevents him from getting a solid 8 hours. Gives him indigestion. Moment's pauses. Could it have something to do with the sticky economic situation he might've had a hand in getting us into? Sort of but not really. The problem, Gaspo reports, isn't that simple. Rubes knows he didn't do anything wrong. His conscience is clear, and when he strips naked and roles around in the pile of hundos Vikram delivers to his home office each week even though a delivery guy could do it, Bob doesn't think, man, I fucked some shit up hardcore. What does get to him, though, is that he knows it's what everyone is thinking. Wrongly, yes, but they're still thinking it.

It's that blame that Rubin can't seem to shake; in fact it's becoming more intense as the one year anniversary of the financial crisis's most turbulent period approaches. And as the debate about Rubin's culpability grows among the chattering classes, people who know Rubin say this debate is also growing inside his head. Rubin has been privately wrestling with his role as senior adviser to former Citi CEOs Sandy Weill and Chuck Prince when the risk taking began (and reached immense proportions), and falling back on the fact that he didn't have "operating responsibilities," meaning he had authority but no direct responsibility to manage those risk takers.
Even among his peers on Wall Street, who revered him for so long, there is a general belief that Rubin is fairly culpable for the Citigroup implosion that led to a massive government bailout. This general belief, even among people who consider themselves friends, is what keeps Rubin up at night, according to people who know him. "Bob feels pretty strongly that what happened at Citi wasn't his fault," says one associate. "He also knows that he faces an uphill battle changing people's opinion about the matter."

And then you've got your pissants at the Post to deal with.

It is his role at Citigroup during this time that has damaged Rubin's legacy, possibly beyond repair. He has been ridiculed in the press. He found his picture prominently displayed with other board members on the front page of the New York Post under the headline "Bounce These Bozo Bankers," which pointed out that Rubin made close to $110 million during his time at Citigroup, while shares fell from above $50 to below $5, wiping out billions of dollars of shareholder wealth in the process, as he became richer.

So, let's work together on this one. What's Rubes gotta do to clear his name? He hasn't slept in weeks and CG's offer to come over feed him some warm milk before bed is being seriously considered as a last resort (before suicide).


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