Three months ago Citigroup Chairman Dick Parsons said his fingers were crossed that the bank would be able to pay back its $45 billion TARP tab. However, at the time he hesitated from giving any sort of a timetable for repayment because "so much of it will depend on the cooperation of the markets". After seeing a roughly 15% gain in the S&P 500, 45% gain in C, and continued improvement in the credit markets over the past 90 days. surely there must be some sort of guidance the chairman of the firm that "never sleeps" could issue by now.
"I have every confidence that Citi will be able to exit the TARP program, and actually be able to give the American taxpayer a decent return," Parsons said today in an interview in New York with Bloomberg Television. "I can't put a time frame on it, but I'm very confident we'll get there."
While stopping short of a Broadway Joe-like guarantee that Citi will, unequivocally, exit TARP on an infinite time horizon, fans of the second derivative can take heart in Parson's less bad prognosis from 'hope to exit TARP' to 'every confidence to exit TARP'.