Tag Archives: Citigroup

Old actors; one wins, one loses

 

I'm not lifting his wallet, just fondling his buttocks!

 

On the losers’ side, Larry Wilcox, former CHiPS motorcycle cop, has finally been busted for running a penny stock scam. Glad to hear it, and I hope he gets out, penniless, when he’s 79 or so.

On the winners’ side, Larry Hagman, Ol’ J.R. in “Dallas”, whacked Citigroup with a $11.6 million arbitration award, $10 million of which will go to Larry’s favorite charities. The only frustrating aspect of this latter case is that Hagman prevailed on the very claim that so many fleeced investors lose on: they were all conservative investors, and said so when opening accounts, and brokers proceeded to ignore that and run for the commissions. My clients, if they were lucky, got back what they lost and then had to pay me. Hagman was awarded his full losses, a $1 million or so, plus attorney’s fees of $400,000 +, and the punitives.

Hagman deserved every penny of that award; I just hope that, moving forward, the FINRA arbitrators will afford the same relief to defrauded investors who aren’t television stars.

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Hey, it’s not that bad.

Citigroup may have fallen from $55 to ninety-seven cents a share, but it’s still just barely smaller than Malaysia’s Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd and Turkey’s Akbank TAS.

Personally, I was bored with seeing “Shea Stadium” blaring out whenever I drove to the airports and I think a “Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Stadium” sign will be an improvement, if the stadium walls are large enough to accommodate the name.

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Will Citigroup fall this weekend?

Maybe. This Bloomberg article doesn’t seem very positive about the company’s prospects.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. shareholders aren’t buying Vikram Pandit’s attempt to salvage the bank by splitting it in two. Nor are they buying the stock.

Citigroup shares tumbled to a 16-year low on Jan. 16 after Pandit, the U.S. bank’s 52-year-old chief executive officer, said he would undo a decade of acquisitions by separating the bank into two units, Citicorp and Citi Holdings.

The problem: Nothing — not $45 billion of U.S. government funds, not federal guarantees on $301 billion of debt, not a pledge to dump non-core assets — can stave off the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Already crippled by trading losses on mortgage bonds, the bank faces credit-card losses that surged to a record in the fourth quarter.

“The losses from the investment banking businesses wiped out any margin for error that Citi might have had to be able to weather the storm of the U.S. consumer defaulting on his debts,” said James Ellman, president of San Francisco-based money manager Seacliff Capital LLC.

After initially rallying 17 percent yesterday on news of Pandit’s planned reorganization, Citigroup shares fell, closing down almost 9 percent at $3.50. At that level, it’s below the $3.77 it dropped to on Nov. 21, when the bank entered talks with officials from the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Reserve over a second round of rescue funds.

They say Citi’s too big to let fail, but hasn’t it already done that? 

Citigroup Chief Financial Officer Gary Crittenden said In an interview yesterday that the bank has had “no conversations at all about additional capital from the government.”

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