I’m Not The Only One Picking On Citigroup
For awhile there, I started to feel like I was the only one picking on Citigroup, and wondering what everyone else was missing. None of the news looked like it was either calling out Citigroup for some of what’s been going on, or were totally missing the point. I started to wonder if maybe I was off, that maybe I had no idea what was going on.
In the story, Weidner says many of the same things I’ve been saying here. He talks about Citigroup’s failed process in trying to sell stock so it could pay off the government’s TARP money. He talks about consistent mismanagement by its leaders, including the board. He talked about scandals in Citi’s past. And he talks about Citi running at a deficit for the year, yet still wanting to pay off the government loan.
I have to admit that I knew nothing about the history of Citi, but I’m not overly surprised. I have written how I was surprised Citi wanted to pay off its loans when it had a suspect profit for one quarter this year. I’ve written about City raising banking fees. I’ve written about Citi canceling credit cards without warning. I wrote about them jacking up my wife’s interest rate. Frankly, I mentioned Citigroup in 48 different articles in 2009; that’s almost 25% of all the articles I wrote for the year.
Citigroup is the less intelligent younger brother of the big banks, the one that keeps trying harder by doing stupid things rather than learning some lessons, growing slow and steady, and not trying to be smarter than other people when they don’t have the brains to do it. True, I haven’t trusted Citigroup in at least a decade, but they got worse over time; who’d have seen that coming. And they took a lot of people and businesses with them, and now they’re trying to follow in the footsteps of Bank of America, who’s performance hasn’t been great but has been better than Citigroup’s, and they’re doing it badly.
I’m not expecting great things from Citigroup in 2010, and if the government holds true on the House proposal for not bailing companies out anymore (which they’ve already reneged on with GMAC), Citigroup could be breaking up by the end of the year. I wonder how that would look.