Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wanted--Inarticulate CEO

Was anyone else disconcerted by this guy Pandit (CEO of Citicorp) describing his company's chance to buy Wachovia for a song, and with heavy duty taxpayer support, as a winning lottery ticket? In this atmosphere, it's a horrible metaphor, what with the Wall Street casino becoming daily more detestable to the public on whose indifference its continued existence depends. (Pandit made the comment while he was whining about Wells Fargo coming in grabbing Wachovia by outbidding Citi after Wachovia and Citi had struck a deal--basically, there is something called a fiduciary out, which let Wachovia renege on its first bargain, but that's neither here nor there).

I believe last year his predecessor, the Prince formerly known as CEO, described Citi's (non)risk management policy with words to the effect that Citi intended to keep on dancing til the music stopped. They've been paying the piper ever since.

If ever there was a group that need dour rather than glib leadership, I believe it can be found on East 53rd Street.

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