Vikram Pandit: Rise Up

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You know, just because he's not as conventionally handsome as Jamie Dimon, or because his slated commencement address didn't incite as much controversy, or because he didn't change the life of one university student by whispering sweet nothings in her ear doesn't mean that Vikram Pandit's graduation speech at Columbia yesterday wasn't just as noteworthy as the JPMorgan CEO's little Syracuse chit-chat on Sunday. It's because none of the kids he was speaking to took their clothes off during his talk that no one cares. But whatever, you know? No sweat off Uncle Vik's sack. You snooze you lose, and miss out on the CEO of the Century's* pearls of wisdom (the delivery of which he purposely scheduled on a random Monday to prove a point that he doesn't open for Mr. Dimon, who spoke Sunday, and so that everyone would've gotten JD out of their system and could give Vickles the attention he deserved but noooooooooo).

Americans have a “right to be angry” about the financial crisis, Pandit, 53, said Monday at the graduation ceremony for Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York.

“We cannot live without the financial system,” Pandit said, “but we do not have to accept its excesses.”

Also, if you take away one thing from this speech, I hope it's this: make sure you get the Zen Garden approval in writing before you accept the job or they'll fuck you like nobody's business in the end. Trust me, know what I'm talking about on this one.

Pandit Tells Students ‘Responsible Finance’ Is Needed [Bloomberg]

*Would Citi have bought Old Lane for a trillion dollars if he wasn't? QED.

Related

Vikram Pandit Is Committed To Getting Paid

If you didn't know Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, you might think he enjoyed not being compensated for the work he does at Citigroup because for quite some time, he wasn't. And although the "I will only get paid $1/year until Citi turns a profit" exercise was fun for a while, he was pretty happy when the old jalopy started making money again, in part because it meant he could receive a paycheck. Then last April, his shareholders rejected the bank's executive pay plan, claiming the Big C "lets Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit collect millions of dollars in rewards too easily." And while it's possible that Citi shareholders are just a bunch of pricks who chose to overlook the fact that Uncle Vikula didn't collect squat for several years and once had an entire article written about the fact that lieutenants attributed a "new bounce in his step" to him daydreaming "the day when he is going to earn more than a $1 a year,” maybe they just assume that he doesn't care about getting paid either way? Anyway, here's Vickles, reminding anyone who forgot about the sacrifices he made and setting the record straight: “The board has this process with them, they’re going through it, and they are committed, as I am, to making sure that they resolve this,” Pandit said. “I want to get paid what the board thinks is right for me, for the job that I’ve done and for the incentives that they think I ought to have.” Pandit told lawmakers in 2009 that he would take a $1 annual salary until he restored the bank to profitability. Citigroup made a $21.7 billion profit for 2011 and 2010 combined, compared with a $29.3 billion loss for the two preceding years. “When the company was losing money, I stepped up and said I’ll take a dollar a year and I did, exactly for that reason, exactly the right thing to do,” Pandit said. For those having trouble separating the nice guy/don't want to offend anyone statement from what he's actually trying to say, a rough translation of the above would be: get me paid, bitch! Citigroup Will Resolve CEO Pay By End Of Year, Pandit Says [Bloomberg]