An imagined future memo from Citigroup’s CEO

By Rob Cox
January 22, 2010

Suppose it is 2011 and the Volcker Act has recently passed, sharply curtailing U.S. banks’ riskier activities and separating them from retail deposits. Citi‘s recently arrived chief executive Bob Steel, who is dismantling the group, puts out a memo to the bank’s staff saying Tim Geithner has been hired as head of the bank’s strategy and investor relations. Oddly, the imaginary scenario is not such a stretch.

From: Bob Steel
To: All Citi staff
Feb. 1, 2011
Dear Citi employee,
By now, most of you probably know that Citi announced the appointment of Timothy F. Geithner as Global Head of Strategy and Investor Relations. Tim, who joins after a hiatus from a distinguished career in public service, will report directly to me.
In his new role, Tim will oversee Citi’s relations with shareholders, including the U.S. government and key investors in the Gulf Region. He will work closely with me, as well as Vice Chairman Christopher Dodd and Executive Vice President of Government Relations Harry Reid to manage the increasingly challenging regulatory environment presented by the implementation of the Volcker Act.
As you all know, we are now focused on developing our client franchise in our core business as we proceed with the series of dramatic changes announced in recent months to the corporate organization of the group. Under Tim’s leadership, we will reinforce the confidence we have begun to rebuild with shareholders as we embark on the biggest restructuring of Citi’s capital structure since its founding.
Tim is an exceptional communicator and strategic thinker. His track record shows consistent results under some of the most challenging financial conditions in generations. Our new model — a smaller, more focused global bank for businesses with no consumer operations and a trading arm devoted entirely to facilitating client transactions — is one Tim understands from his years in public service, both at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as Secretary of the Treasury from 2009 until 2010.
Until suitable replacements are named, I have asked Tim to oversee all of our investor relations responsibilities, including those for Citi’s two pending spinoffs: the planned divestiture of Citi’s North America Consumer Banking franchise to a consortium led by Banco Itau of Brazil and Carlos ‘Slim’ Helu; and the creation of Toxia, America’s biggest non-bank financial institution, through the merger of Citi Holdings and General Electric Capital’s GE Money division.
I hope you are all as excited as I am about Tim’s arrival and the great future that lies ahead for the corporation. I am looking eagerly to taking your questions in the various Town Hall meetings that our new Head of Corporate Communications David Axelrod will be setting up at Citi locations around the globe in coming weeks.




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Yes. And you sumbichs ought to be thanking your lucky start you are not in jail where most thieves end up. I know your point is to act as if you are so put upon by the gubmint but you have proved with your past actions you cannot act responsibly and so need to be “guided.”

Posted by tangolimagolf | Report as abusive

A bit sophomoric and very precious, but I imagine there’s some “insider” humor to be gleaned from this. If this is the quality of editorial comment, it leads me to hope that the hammer is dropped.

Posted by max_stirner | Report as abusive

A Day Late & A Dollar Short- No Make That A Trillion!

About Time…

Posted by mynamehear | Report as abusive

Yes, sophomoric. It hardly deserves such a prominent position in such an important publication as Reuters News.

What gives?

Posted by AdamSmith | Report as abusive

yes, yes, we’re all familiar with the old ‘revolving door’ problem.

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive

What is this tripe doing taking up half of a news site main page? Reuters, shame on you! What are the names of the columnist(s) who wrote this and who (besides you) paid them for it?

On a related note, does anyone remember any of these bankers or traders saying, “Thank you, American taxpayers! You saved my job and my obscene bonus!”?

Posted by Chingnutchkook | Report as abusive

There is nothing like gameing with others money.
Hence, we have ‘Heads I win, Tails you lose.’
You then declare, we have no convictions!

Posted by The1eyedman | Report as abusive

…and this further emphasizes my belief that being INDEPENDENT is the most patriotic act and divesting interest from any political party owned by corporations.

Posted by CraigMarker | Report as abusive

Sometimes dreams become true…..
Voluntas Dei!!!

Posted by SteveP | Report as abusive

Wow you really stirred up a hornets nest. Good job.

Here is some food for thought. Last year Japan, India, China, Brazil, Iran, and Arabia had secret talks and made plans to replace the US dollar a the base currency of the world with a basket type base currency, several currencies. I conclude that all have one factor in common, that the currencies will be back with gold reserves. Further, many of the countries listed above are making large purchases of gold.

In 1971 the dollar was cut loose from the gold standard by President Nixon and the advise of Paul Volcker. Why, because President Nixon wanted to open the trade doors with China, which was effectively closed by the Bretton Woods system established in July 1944. By cutting the dollar loose from gold he opened that door.

The time line for this to happen is ten years. This is to allow large holder of dollars to dump them slowly on the Forex markets, of dollar were dump fast it would cause a world wide depression.

The proposed new taxes and regulations on big banks plays right into their plans. What starts at the top of the hill roles down so it will effect all banks.

Now President Obama gave credit to Mr. Volcker for bring double digit inflation under control in the 1980’s, Not so, it was Ronald Wilson Regan that deserves that credit.

If the tax is increased and new tougher regulations written, it will be worse than health care. It will cut the heart out of the American financial system. Then America will become just another third world country like a puppet on a string.

Wake up America as a once great man said “The government is not the answer to our problems, it is the problem.”

Not only here but around the world. When the people no longer control the government, the government controls the people.

Posted by MSGret1 | Report as abusive

Dear Obama, please read the most read home foreclosure story on the web these days at Then maybe you will see why bankrupting this country over the health bill is not where your energy should be.

Posted by muchstardude | Report as abusive