Years ago, Citibank had a catchy ad campaign that ended with a jingle: “The Citi Never Sleeps!”
Well, clearly, not only does The Citi sleep, it has been comatose when it comes to the exploding real estate crisis in the country–indeed, the world.
On Sunday, the chairman and chief exec of Citigroup, Inc., Charles Prince, threw in his ATM card and stepped down — this as the bank announced it would probably have to write off 11 BILLION dollars in subprime mortgage losses……now, if this sounds a bit like old news, it may be because Citicorp just wrote down 6.5 BILLION last quarter.
According to a Reuters report, Prince wrote a memo to employees saying, ” I am responsible for the conduct of our businesses (that’s why they paid him the big bucks, to know these things!).
“The size of these charges makes stepping down the only honorable course for me to take as chief executive officer…”
Wow, when was the last time you heard an American CEO say that?
Now, for more bad news, Reuters quotes a portfolio manager at Ferguson Wellman Capital Management in Oregon as saying, “It’s shocking…” What’s more he says, “I wonder what it means for everyone else?”
He can say that again! Don’t look for this housing, mortgage, credit crisis to end anytime soon…it won’t. It is only going to get worse. A lot worse. (They don’t pay me the big bucks to know that; but I do!)