Felix Salmon

Citi’s cities

David Enrich says that Citi is retrenching its consumer operations in the US:

Executives at the New York company plan to narrow the focus of Citigroup’s U.S. branch network to six major metropolitan areas, according to people familiar with the situation. Citigroup also will limit its overall consumer lending in the U.S. primarily to credit cards and “jumbo” mortgages, while catering largely to affluent customers.

Counterparties

“Of course there were four rooms in Mr. Thain’s office suite” — of course! — TBI

More on European bank charges

Thanks to SP, I’ve now found the study (149 pages, 1.5MB) examining bank fees across Europe. It makes for fascinating reading.

Blankfein’s disingenuousness

Spiegel has a good interview with Lloyd Blankfein. They started out by asking him about his astronomical pay, and whether such sums promote greed:

Map of the day, McDonald’s edition

mcd_us_high.jpg

This beautiful map comes from Stephen Von Worley, who has mapped the contiguous USA by how far any given point is from the nearest McDonald’s. Turns out the McFarthest Spot, somewhere in South Dakota, is 107 miles, as the crow flies, from a Golden Arch. There’s something for South Dakota to be proud of!

The beginning of the end of meaningful regulatory reform

The erosion of the Obama administration’s regulatory-reform plans has now begun in earnest:

Bank fees around the world

The EU, after a long and complicated study which I can’t even find on their website, has come to a simple and powerful conclusion when it comes to the subject of bank fees:

Chinese housing datapoint of the day

Rosealea Yao reports:

Roughly 80 per cent of China’s urban residents own their homes – an astonishing number for a country that only began to privatise its housing stock in 1998.

Olympic costs

When a number in the newspaper seems too outrageously large to conceivably be true, don’t believe it. For instance, from today’s WSJ: