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Sandy Weill Regrets Destroying Jamie Dimon's Ability To Ever Open Up And Trust A Bank CEO Again

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Earlier this week, we learned that after nearly a decade of fighting, hedge fund managers Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn had decided to forgive each other. While it was a shock to anyone who's ever heard the two mens' comments about each other in the past, it was but child's play to Wall Street's latest attempt at a burying of the hatchet. Perhaps inspired by Ackman and Icahn, perhaps having recently turned 81 and taking stock of his life, former Citigroup chief Sandy Weill appeared on CNBC today and had the following to say:

"I wish Jamie [Dimon] and I had been able to work out our issues and that it didn't have to end up in a break up, because it was a very good relationship," Weill said. Dimon was fired by Weill shortly after the Travelers and Citicorp merger in 1998—abruptly ending a 15-year partnership that saw them build a financial services empire like no other at the time.

While Dimon was later able to pick up the pieces, taking a job with Bank One, the wounds did not heal so easily. Many people say that everything Dimon has done since Weill cast him aside has been in an effort to prove his former mentor wrong. (Including the whole London Whale thing. Sandy always loved a good whale watch.) If Weill is expecting an "I forgive you" call from the son whose heart he broke, he's going to have to do a lot better than this!

In related news, lest anyone thing the ex-Citi chief is going soft is going soft, Weill made it fairly clear that Chuck Prince should not expects any letters of reference or good words put in from his former boss.

Reflecting on his decades-long career, Weill said the other big mistake he made was choosing Chuck Prince to succeed him as Citigroup boss, because the pick led to departures of many top executives.

Jamie Dimon Breakup One Of My Biggest Mistakes [CNBC]


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Vikram Pandit Not Feeling Sandy Weill's Break-Up The Banks Call

About a month ago, retired Citi CEO Sandy Weill set his alarm an hour early, got out of bed when it was still dark, ate a piece of rye toast, told Joan he'd see her when he'd see her, took the elevator downstairs to wait for the car that drove him out to Englewood Cliffs, and went on CNBC to proffer a small suggestion to Wall Street: break up the big banks. Perhaps you heard about it? Not many people were receptive to the notion of Weill giving them advice on the matter, which may or may not have had something to do with the fact that in his day, Weill couldn't get enough of big banks and was the man responsible for cobbling together the behemoth known as Citigroup, an institution so huge it can barely support its own weight. The response by most, in fact, was "Shut it, you old bag." But what about Vikram Pandit, the lucky guy who inherited the place? What did he think of Weill's tip? After giving it some good thought-- really and truly considering it-- for a few weeks, he's decided to take a pass: Citigroup’s chief executive has knocked back the idea of big banks being split up after calls from people such as his predecessor Sandy Weill. But not for the reasons you might think! Pandit actually agrees with Sando because if you think about it, Citi's already been broken up and is basically the bank it was before the merger that resulted in it needing firefighters to use a giant pulley system to lift it out of bed and get around every day. Pandit said Citi, formed in Mr Weill’s time with mergers such as the acquisition of Travelers in 1998, had already gone back to the basics of banking, and aside from some global markets businesses had sold most of the units from that deal. “What’s left here is essentially the old Citicorp,” he told the Financial Times. “That’s a tried and proven strategy. Why did it work? Because it was a strategy based upon operating the business and serving clients and not a strategy based on dealmaking. That’s the fundamental difference.” So we're all on the same page here. Citi Chief Rejects Calls For Bank Splits [FT]