Commentaries

Bair, a regulator for the people

August 13, 2009

 In Sheila we trust.

Maybe that should be the new mantra for U.S. taxpayers — especially ones who don’t feel the nation’s bankers have shown sufficient gratitude for being bailed out and saved from their own incompetence and greed.

Citi’s dirty pool of assets

August 12, 2009

Hard as it may be to believe, shares of beleaguered Citigroup are on fire.

The stock of the de facto U.S. government-owned bank is up some 300 percent after it cratered at around $1 back in early March.

Cash management the Citi way

July 27, 2009

Is Citigroup trying to preserve cash by stiffing some of its vendors?

The other day a vendor for Citibank, the national banking arm of the defacto US taxpayer-owned bank, told me how Citi might be playing games with some of the companies that do busines with it. This vendor says he always used to get his bills paid within 30 days of submitting them to Citibank. But recently it too more than 60 days for a bill to get paid.

The final straw with Citi

July 23, 2009

 ”We have and will continue to exit several forms of proprietary risk-taking. Where we continue to take principal risk, we will only do so when we have proven teams and a clear source of advantage.” – Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit on January 16, 2009. 
   
Don’t be fooled by Vikram Pandit’s playing the part of a prudent banker.

The Citi dump

July 17, 2009

City landfills aren’t pretty places. Much the same can be said for Citi Holdings, the newly formed dumping ground for Citigroup’s most ailing and malodorous assets.

A Tale of Two Citi’s

July 10, 2009

Here’s a summer quiz: Identify the following two US banks:

1. This institution has been profitable throughout the credit crisis. Last year, it reported net income of $6bn on revenues of $60bn, despite taking big hits in its consumer operations in North and South America in the fourth quarter. At the end of the first quarter the bank had total assets of $958 billion, supported by a healthy deposit base of $660 billion.

Pandit buys time with Citi reshuffle

July 9, 2009

– Peter Thal Larsen is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

The shuffle Citi needs

July 9, 2009

Citi CEO Vikram Pandit keeps moving around the deck chairs, but the one chair he still won’t move is his own.

Derivatives league table

June 26, 2009

Goldman Sachs is moving up the derivatives charts—with a bullet.

In the latest ranking of US banks with large derivatives exposure, Goldman moves up from fourth place to second, according a report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currencey. The notional value of Goldman’s derivatives contracts at the end of the first quarter was $39.9 trillion, up from $30.2 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2008.

No fix for the derivatives monster

June 17, 2009

It’s still not clear if the Obama administration has a plan for dealing with the derivatives monster, which is one of the biggest problems regulators must confront in dealing with the potential collpase of a “too big to fail” financial institution.