Citi Statements Re: Zen Gardens, Private Jets To Get A Whole Lot More Colorful

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This doesn't affect you people directly so much as it will potentially affect me but I just want to put it out there that the news New York Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler has accepted a job at Citigroup as executive vice president of global public affairs has me supremely amped. And not just because he'll do right by Mr. Vikram, but also because of this:

Mr. Skyler, recruited by the city Parks Department from the University of Pennsylvania, was just 28 when the mayor made him his press secretary. In that job, he fiercely protected Mr. Bloomberg's image, flashing anger and unleashing expletives at reporters.


With a handful of exceptions (you know who you are and I cherish our time together), and some diamonds in the rough, there are basically four types of people you encounter in the world of flackdom: the idiot flack, the ass-kissing flack, the lying sack of shit flack, and various combinations thereof. None is likely to garner your respect. In Skyler you have the rare bird of a spokesman who, while I can't promise he won't lie to you, will at least entertain and exhilarate, via (fingers crossed) suggesting you go fuck yourself while addressing such matters as private Zen Gardens, hard to explain corporate actions (such as spending hundreds of millions on no longer extant hedge funds in order to acquire the greatest mind on Wall Street), and so and so forth. I, for one, cannot wait. I'm dead serious.

Update: I forgot to add, the whiny, pitiable flack (lots of overlap with the idiot flack here).

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Zen Gardens That Never Were: Vikram Pandit Doesn't Have To Put Up With This Shit Anymore

As you may have heard, earlier today, Citigroup announced that CEO Vikram Pandit would be resigning from his post at the bank, effective immediately, along with several longtime lieutenants. While the news came as a shock to Wall Street, it was assumed that on the inside, employees had been given some advanced warning and time to get used to the idea of life without Uncle Vik. That he hadn't just left in the middle of the night. That those hugs on the elevator Monday hadn't been their last. That he'd stashed something away for them to remember him by. A good-bye note. A glossy 8X10 photo to keep on their desks. SOMETHING. Apparently though, not so much. The news of Mr. Pandit's departure after five years atop the company came as a shock to Citigroup employees, including senior executives. In the firm's London office, some executives emerged from a meeting and read the news on their computers and Bloomberg terminals, well before the bank's internal memo was released. Soon a dozen employees were crowded in front of television monitors, following the story on financial business shows. Others were seen around a water cooler on the trading floor, discussing the news. Still others retreated to their desks to parse Citigroup's recent earnings release, looking for hints of internal conflict. "There's shock," said a Citigroup executive based in New York. "Even senior people were surprised." And while early reports suggested that Count Vikula had simply decided that Citigroup had come so far since he'd taken the gig five years ago that his work was done, and that while it was time to move onto the next stage of his life, he'd cherish the memories and the people he met at Citi, it now sounds like the split was a bit more acrimonious than that. Pandit abruptly stepped down following a clash with the New York company's board over strategy and operating performance at businesses including its institutional clients group, according to people with knowledge of the bank. At this time, some questions that need answering: * Does today's news change Meredith Whitney's opinion of the Big C, which, as of last April was that the thought of it still sickened her? * Where is the comment from Prince Alwaleed, AKA Citi's largest individual shareholder and Vikram's number one fan? * Is Sheila Bair happy? * Will Citi's food services employees treat new CEO Mike Corbat in the manner he's grown accustomed? The ladies who serve and prepare the food at Currier House all have crushes on senior Mike Corbat. The woman who checks off the names--the one sitting at the desk--smiles and winks at him. Then the greyish, plump one who serves the french onion dip giggles, when Corbat quips something that's not-so-funny. And during lunch, a man who also works in the dining room--he's the aged guy, with a slightly arched back who stands around in his red coat--comes over to Corbat and gives him some present all wrapped up in tinfoil. The guy in the red coat paternally pats him on the shoulder and walks away. "I just give them tickets to some of the games," he explains. You see, Mike Corbat is a 6-ft, 3-m, 230 pound dear. Whatever the case. Corbat--an all-Ivy offensive guard on the Harvard football team--may be a dear to the people who work in the dining hall, but he certainly isn't dear to his opponents. People who are dears on the field don't get contacted by at least a half-dozen teams informing him of the possibilities of his playing in the National Football League. * Could all of this have been different if those cheap fucks has just given him his Zen Garden? Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Resigns [WSJ] Mike Corbat: All-Ivy And A Perfect Team Player [Crimson via Counterparties] Earlier: Vikram Pandit: HAPPY.AS.A.CLAM Related: "...certain design elements have been nixed since the initial planning phase, including a Zen garden."

Bob Diamond's Daughter Releases Statement Re: Father's Firing

While most offspring are typically not available for comment following the resignations, voluntary or otherwise, of their banker dads (lookin' at you, Jimmy Cayne, Jr.), earlier today prolific Tweeter Nell Diamond had this to say to the Brits who have been cheering her father's departure: "George Osborne and Ed Miliband you can go ahead and #HMD." Unfortunately the note has since been deleted (and replaced with "No one in the world I admire more than my dad. 16yrs building Barclays. Shame to see the mistakes of few tarnish the hard work of so many") but the vigorous defense was appreciated nonetheless. Previously Nell, a 2011 Princeton graduate, has had words for Ben Bernanke ("you know what bernanke? maybe tomorrow I will make lots of "projections" and YOU will miss the dumpling truck. how ya like them apples B?"), the slag heaps at Coachella ("every girl at coachella looks like pocahontas went to burning man. ugh. you probably can't even pronounce rodarte"), and the amateur hour fucks who think her name is Neil and who she should stab with a trident ("number of people who have called me neil today: 4 via email, 1 via phone. number of people to add to my billy madison lipstick kill list: 5."). Bob Diamond's Daughter Defends Her Dad [NS via DI]