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Sandy Weill Doesn't Want To Talk About...Y'Know

Apparently it's still too soon.
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If you happen to visit former Citigroup chief Sandy Weill out in Sonoma, where he and his wife Joan fled several years ago for no particular reason, you can ask him about his new wine label and if he ever gets the urge to take his shoes off, roll up his pant legs, and stomp on some grapes. You can ask him what it's like tooling around the property on his John Deere after decades spent suppressing his inner farmer. You can even ask him what the climate around Casa Weill was like after Joan told a small struggling college to f*ck itself. But do not under any circumstances mention the C-word in his presence. In fact, don't even think it.

Mr. Weill, a quintessential Brooklyn native, and his wife, Joan, have decamped for Sonoma, where the rolling sun-dappled hills are often compared to Italy’s Tuscany region. The Weills spend more than half of their time here now, far from Wall Street’s high-octane environment — and its critical onlookers...“I think he kind of enjoys it out here. Probably he finds it a bit more of a quieter lifestyle than the hustle and bustle of the city,” said Leslie Vadasz, a retired Intel executive whose 200-acre estate is next door to Casa Rosa. The two have become friendly, but there are some topics that are still off limits, it seems. “In a way, he was quite a pioneer on Wall Street,” Mr. Vadasz said in a recent interview, seated in the spacious living room of his own hillside mansion. “But when I mentioned it, either Sandy or Joan said, ‘Look what happened.’ He was not particularly happy about it.” Mr. Weill does not appear to enjoy discussing the topic, Mr. Vadasz added. “There are subjects that I don’t poke at and he doesn’t volunteer.”

As a reminder, Joan told the Times back in 2010 "there are a few people I want to kill," who she blamed for ruining Sandy's reputation, so maybe after a couple glasses of Weill a Way Exposition 3 Syrah she'd be opening to having a chat about the ole C.

Sandy Weill’s Wine Country Retirement, With Notes of Rue and Chagrin [Dealbook]


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]

Sandy Weill Is Looking For Work

The former Citigroup CEO has stepped down from his latest gig.