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When Losing $10 Billion Is a Relief

Posted on Jan 15, 2008
Citigroup sign

You know the economy is in trouble when investors and analysts are relieved that Citigroup lost only $9.83 billion in the last quarter of 2007. The banking giant managed to squeeze a few billion out of Abu Dhabi and Singapore, and will still pay a dividend on its stock, so for now the mood is upbeat.


Analysts generally welcomed the results, as the $18.1bn bad debt write down was less than market expectations of $20bn.

They also welcomed the fact Citigroup announced it would still be paying a dividend, although this was reduced to 32 cents per share from 54 cents.

“If you maintain dividend and reinforce your capital base, and you take a write-down that is slightly less than expected, all in all, it’s decent,” said Edmund Shing, strategist at BNP Paribas.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, January 17, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

When a great light is turned into darkness, it can be very dark indeed!

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By Conservative Yankee, January 17, 2008 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By zeitgeist, January 17 at 12:34 pm #

“Your looking in the wrong direction when you say, ‘liberals run the bank’.”

I’m using the classical, dictionary definition of “liberal’ as in Charles Dickens “liberal terms” that is why the quotes “” “”

Liberal is unrestrained and wanders into uncharted territory. Conservative follows the beaten path..

In 1913, the wealthy were the “liberals” and the conservatives were the workers. 

Under this definition; A “liberal” gun law would allow everyone to have guns…a conservative law would restrict gun ownership.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, January 17, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Narcissistic sharks!

These bottom-line feeders have no mind-set, which is simply driven by an insatiable ego. In their frenzied euphoria, they will consume their own families including each other.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, January 17, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Your looking in the wrong direction when you say, “liberals run the bank”.

We have congress to thank for abdicating its Constitutional responsibility in maintaining and controlling a sound coin of the realm, when in 1913 it turned that responsibility over to the corporations, centralizing the money power into the hands of the few, who later devised the deceptively fraudulent shell game of fractional reserve banking and now have a “Freedom of the Press.” As long as there are trees for pulp, and plenty of ink, the sky is the limit.

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By VillageElder, January 16, 2008 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Re: Yes, delusions may sometimes seem real.

I love this!!  The dream, nightmare, continues… Bush is still our emperor and wishes he could be president for life “Waiting for god to give a little nudge ...”

Countrywide is bailed out (bought) by NationsBank.  The CEO leaves with 100+ million.  Citigroup loses about 10 billion and we’re told “that ain’t bad.”  Merrill Lynch is having a few problems about 6 billion.  And what’s a few foreign investments here and there?

“We’ve got a strong economy and posting positive growth in our GDP.”

Step right up its: deja vue all over again.

This is typical of the demise of empires caught up with god and making financial services the primary sector of the country’s economy.  Manufacturing was so dirty; we outsourced it.

Unfortunately we have to live through this and pay for it because the creators and supporters of our getting here won’t be held responsible, in fact they will be rewarded by the members of their club.

We progressives need a movement leading to real political influence and power.  Whoops the repluglicans will say its class warfare.  And it is, but this time we should be doing the fighting and control the debate.

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By Conservative Yankee, January 16, 2008 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THIS is what happens when “liberals” run a bank.

Banks should be tightly regulated and intrest rates should be set by a board of overseers based on what is needed to make a modest profit.  The money is OURS! not the banks. the system needs some big-time tweeking FAST, or 1929 is going to look like a walk in the park!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 15, 2008 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Ten Billion in three months time?  We all know enough about business accounting to know that this is crap.

Now let’s talk about how much the war in Eyerack cost the American taxpayers in the last three months. 

Upper level management in Citigroup won’t feel a thing.  The American middle class citizen will continue to reel from this debacle for decades—if we’re all still around.  Thanks, W.  F*** Citigroup.

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By cyrena, January 15, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

I love this!!

Yes, hitting the pavement at 150 mph is SUPPOSED to bring one back to reality, even if only for a few seconds.

What we have here, are too many who have hit the pavement, and don’t even know it, like you guy with the talking shoes.

And for the moment, they’re still walking around.

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By ocjim, January 15, 2008 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

What sad commentary regarding our so-called exalted business acumen with our obscenely over-paid captains of industry.

Next the Citigroup will ask for tax breaks from our so-called leaders. That will be followed by $millions provided to the failed Citigroup CEO (to join the disgraced CountryWide CEO).

Stockholders with the short-term, narcissistic mind-set revel in dividends after Citigroup sells 5% of their business.

Doesn’t this sound like a self-serving loser mentality?

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By dick, January 15, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Orwell missed his best sources. We live in fantasy land. Prosperity is just around the corner. I remember it well in 1925, but did not see it return for 25 years.

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By G.Anderson, January 15, 2008 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

I once knew a man in who was having a psychotic episode in which his shoes we’re talking to him.

His left shoe was telling him to go to Hawaii, and his right one convinced him that his wife was having an affair with his best friend.

When you are crazy, or having some sort of meltdown ideas that you normally would dismiss as completely mad can seem reasonable.

Pretty soon it may seem reasonble, to many in the financial community, that they can fly.

But hitting the pavement at 150 miles per hour has a tendency to bring you back to reality, even if it’s only for a few seconds.

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