As those of you who've been with Citigroup since at least 2007 know, analyst Mike Mayo has never really had any very nice things to say about the bank. If you haven't committed all of his comments and research reports to memory, or had them printed and stored for posterity in leather-bound books, a brief history of Mayo's relationship with the institution include:
- Pissing on Citi's house before Meredith Whitney
- Repeated criticism of Citi's accouting
- Telling people the bank can't be trusted
- Claiming not even Jamie Dimon could save the place
- Talking public shit about its ATMs
- This topical and OH NO HE DI'INT-level burn: "Asking Vikram Pandit about the crisis in capitalism is like asking Alec Baldwin about airplane etiquette"
- Telling chairman Dick Parons to GTFO and fast
Sure, Mayo was pretty pleased when the board threw his arch-nemesis, Vikram Pandit, out in the middle of the night, and even said he was going to give the bank a chance to prove itself to him under the new leadership of CEO Mike Corbat. But nobody actually thought he'd start having good thing to say about the place, which is why the Mayo Jar is as shocked as you to be offering this:
CSLA analyst Mike Mayo, who is also one of Citi’s harshest critics, claims Corbat has the bank headed in the right direction despite reporting disappointing third-quarter results on Tuesday. “Nobody’s been more negative on [Citi] than me,” said Mayo, who has locked horns with Citi officials including ex-CEO Vikram Pandit. “But I can say that Citi is now more on the right long-term track than at anytime in the past decade.”
Chilling, but let's try not to read too much into it. You have permission to officially start freaking out when this one starts giving them the time of day.