Vikram Pandit: HAPPY. AS. A. CLAM

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When Vikram Pandit first joined Citi, he was a happy, smiley Uncle Vik. And why shouldn't he have been? The bank had just laid out hundreds of millions of dollars to land him and he was thisclose to buying Tony Randall's apartment. Plus, he's just always had a sunny disposition.

Despite the fact that that his hedge fund was eventually put out to pasture after its all-too-short two years of (mis)managing money, and a precipitously falling stock price, nothing could get him down. As time went on though, they started to break him. A certain analyst made a habit of hiding in his closet, waiting 'til he fell asleep and then popping out, tying him up and shoving a sock in his mouth. Jamie Dimon called him a "jerk" on a conference call. The government outfitted him with an ankle monitoring bracelet and a boot up the ass. Citi was removed from the Dow. He made a promise not to take more than a $1 salary per year and who knew when the Christ that was going to happen. He was told he couldn't have a Zen Garden. It was all too much to bear and Vickles had a major case of the sads. He lost weight. And because he lost weight he was forced to close his Tickle a Vickle booth in the office on Park (people don’t wait in line for hours to Tickle an anorexic Vickle). The whole thing was depressing to watch, let alone experience personally and we spent a good deal of time wondering if we'd ever have the old Vik back. It seemed unlikely. Today though? JOYOUS NEWS TO THE CONTRARY.

Some of Mr. Pandit’s most trusted advisers notice a new bounce in his step and say he is more energetic at meetings.

He's back baby! First comes the bounce in the step, then comes the bounce in the belly, and I for one could not be more elated. Ours is not to question why but since we're here and all, what the heck. Why is Vikram happy again?

* Odd Couple reunion tour

* He's been getting laid

* Because of the whole government removing its foot from his ass situation

* Because "he sees the day when he is going to earn more than a $1 a year," according to a top lieutenant (who also VP "has a smile on his face" and "is looking and sounding a lot more confident and secure"

* Pony rides with the Prince

* It was hinted there could be a garden of zen in the works

* Wildcard

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