Citigroup Clears Up Confusion On SchnitzelGate, Is Yet To Make Grand Gesture


A couple weeks ago, when the Schnitzel & Things food truck, purveyor of "thin, deep-fried cutlets," was forced by the cops to leave its regular corner on 54th and Lex, the owners were pretty surprised. Particularly when they were told the alleged reason, which was that there'd been a complaint from inside the building, where Citi has offices, and that if they didn't hit the bricks, they'd be cited as a "terrorist threat."

"I was stunned," said Gene Voss. "I asked the police officer, 'Let me get this straight, this building is complaining that I might be a terrorist threat?' I mean, I'm just selling schnitzel."

According to the police, the reason the truck was asked to scram because it was blocking parking spaces. And a spokeswoman for Citi says the bank had nothing to do with the call, which, sure, okay, we'll buy that. Nevertheless, someone costs these guys two weeks of business (they've "vowed to return Friday"). And I'm just thinking aloud here, but it would not only be a nice gesture but would also help Citi keep this "we're not Goldman, we're the good guys" streak going, if Vikram were spotted on line, buying up a mess of schnitzel for him and his liuetenants and/or manning the window himself. Just something to think about.


Meredith Whitney: Citigroup Should Just Give Up

Earlier today, we wondered if, in light of the news that Vikram Pandit had resigned as CEO of Citigroup, analyst Meredith Whitney's opinion of the bank had changed. Choice comments that Whitney has made about the Big C in the past have included: "Citigroup is in such a mess Stephen Hawking couldn’t turn this company around"; "Citi is like an old broken-down Victorian house"; and Citi “has no earnings power, isn’t going to grow, hasn’t been investable in four years." She also once told Maria Bartiromo that the only way she'd change her mind about company would be if she received "a new brain." Still, sometimes analysts change their tune when new blood is brought in and, like former FDIC chair Sheila Bair, perhaps some of her beef with the bank had been a personal dislike of Uncle V. Now that he's gone, is she seeing Citigroup in a new light? Not so much, no. In the wake of CEO Vikram Pandit‘s surprise departure this morning, Whitney, founder and CEO of Meredith Whtney Advisory Group LLC, issued a note cautioning clients to be wary of Citigroup even under new leadership. “Citigroup is ‘the incredible shrinking bank,’ and the least interest of the big four, in our opinion,” Whitney said. “No CEO will be able to change these facts in the near-term. It appears the board feels the same way, as they have appointed an unknown to the outside to the new CEO position, Mike Corbat.” [...] On Tuesday, the stock has wavered between gains and losses on heavy trading volume in reaction to Pandit’s resignation. Shares are up 29% this year through Monday’s close. Despite signs of incremental improvement, Whitney isn’t backing down from her bearish stance. “Any seat in Citigroup’s court should come with a warning label,” Whitney says. Meredith Whitney: No CEO Can Fix Citigroup [WSJ] Earlier: Meredith Whitney Cannot Stress Enough How Little She Thinks Of Citigroup