Posts Tagged Citigroup

Our bailout dollars at work

I’m sorry this video isn’t embedded – CNBC didn’t offer that option; maybe I’ll figure it out later. Click on the graphic to link.

CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo discusses the future of Citigroup with the company’s largest shareholder, one of the wealthiest people in the world Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia.

Is our Citigroup bailout money helping this guy? Well, yes. Someone enlighten me. Is this a good thing?

Alwaleed strongly supports Citi’s current CEO Vikram S. Pandit, referring to him repeatedly by first name, saying he’s only been there a year. We have to lay blame on the previous CEO. The prince doesn’t hold the board responsible at all.

I looked for a little more information on Pandit, and found this from May 2008 Blogging Stocks by Douglas McIntyre:

Vikram S. Pandit, the CEO of Citigroup (NYSE: C), got his start at the big bank by selling them his hedge fund business, Old Lane. A few months after the transaction, Pandit got the top job, but the business he sold Citi is in trouble.

According to The New York Times, “Citigroup said late Friday that it was planning to restructure Old Lane after ‘substantially all’ its outside investors withdrew their money.” The bank bought Pandit’s company for $800 million.

Ahhhhh. . . I see. Do you get the feeling you’ve been had? These are the people who need our billions of bailout dollars. These are the people our children will pay higher taxes in the future in order to help now. And yet, if we don’t bail them out, we will suffer even greater trouble? Perhaps torture is appropriate after all — for certain bank and auto executives.

On other topics, Alwaleed supports the auto industry bailout and says the U.S. government must ensure the big three can compete with European and Japanese automakers. He admits the recent astonomical price of oil was speculation and that a price of $50 to $60 is more realistic.

The prince has a truly impressive grasp of financial workings in the U.S. and is on a first name basis, a pick-up-the-phone-and-chat relationship with the big boys in U.S. finance.

It’s a very long video, but fascinating and unsettling.

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