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Ear to the Ground

Rubin Bows Out of Citigroup

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Posted on Jan 9, 2009
Rubin
treas.gov

Rubin out: Robert Rubin, the secretary of the treasury during the Clinton era, is shown in 1998 as he introduces the new $20 note at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C..

Almost a year ago, Citigroup’s then-director Robert Rubin downplayed the enormity of the economic catastrophe headed our way and made a pre-emptive move to shift any potential blame to politicians instead of financial experts such as himself. Fast-forward to the present and the picture changes considerably: On Friday, Rubin stepped down from his Citigroup post, but his political future remains undecided.


The Washington Post:

Robert Rubin, a key figure in the U.S. financial boom as Treasury secretary and then as a senior adviser at Citigroup, announced his retirement from the troubled New York bank yesterday [Friday] in the latest sign that Citigroup wants to break from its recent past.

Rubin joined Citigroup in 1999, soon after the company emerged as a financial services giant. He has since earned more than $115 million as Citigroup has suffered through setbacks and missteps that culminated in a November bailout by the federal government.

His departure completes a turnover in the company’s leadership that began with the replacement of chief executive Charles Prince in December 2007.

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By KDelphi, January 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Totally agree. I have no idea why no one is in prison over this. Well, actually, I do.

People have an innate sense of “justice”, although I know it often seems as though they dont. We cannot avoid harming the psyche of the population, if Wall St, Bush et al, are allowed to walk off scot free, while kids sit in prison for pot . And, Lindey England, (not a very bright person, but one with an INFANT) sits in prison. Maybe Charles Taylor desrves to be there.

But, Wall St. including Rubin and Larry Summers, all desrve to be there. This was not simply “bad judgement”! It was criminal…I dont know why some attorney has not jumped on this one…sue the CRAP out of them!

Shame, shame USA..war on the poor..

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By samosamo, January 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

By Outraged, January 11 at 11:13 pm

100% concurrence here. But also I called it what it is, grand larceny for what should be the unavoidable detention and prosecution for such a crime. That is what w & penis’ terms have been all about since their appointment and theft of the presidency gave the neocons(the ultimate trash, piles of shit and as your son so correctly identified rubin, they are all pieces of fuck)total power, almost, in all 3 branches of government that those neocon think tanks worked so hard to accomplish. And as these think tanks are the cause of this then they must be considered a major terrorist threat to our country and be shut down and held accountable.
And these ‘pieces of fuck’ in congress right now that are objecting to the raising taxes on upper income people, using the rest of the bailout to help the people or a stimulus or a jobs program or defense cuts are all traitors to this country a even bigger ‘pieces of fuck’ than before, and now with their objections, it should be easier to see who should not be re-elected in 2010.

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By Outraged, January 12, 2009 at 12:13 am Link to this comment

Good comments all, but especially whyzowl1.

I agree.  I know I’ve said this before, and even though I make an honest-hearted effort not to quote the same source ad finitum, just the same…. in the verbiage of my son, Rubin is the biggest “piece of fuck” to ever have walked this earth.

And a “piece of fuck” he is.  How else can he be described if his “contribution to society” is investigated?  Degenerate asshole…..?

“My great regret is that I and so many of us who have been involved in this industry for so long did not recognize the serious possibility of the extreme circumstances that the financial industry faces today,” Rubin wrote. (WSJ)

Give it a rest Rubin, we’re not buying what you’re selling, you asshole.

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By msgmi, January 11, 2009 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rubin and the Wall Street Big Shots = the Ken Lays of ENRON as HUBRIS = outlandish CEO salaries and bonuses.  Now we hear that oil supply and demand did not push the cost of a gallon of gas to over four bucks, it was the Wall Street financial institutions and hedge fund capos which sparked speculation to drive the commodity through the roof as the Beltway elected officials did the three blind mice routine. Before its demise, ENRON pushed the California utility into a gridlock blackout and, more recently, Wall Street couldn’t resist another commodity profit binge with oil and other commodities of note.

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By whyzowl1, January 11, 2009 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

As George Lakoff among others continually emphasizes, how we “frame” our personal worldviews, our pictures of reality, matters a great deal.

We savage reality when we think of entities such as Halliburton, The Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, AIG, Citigroup, Roche, or G.E. as corporations, banks, insurance companies, and etc. They are pirate ships flying the Jolly Roger, and launched and manned by the bloodcurdling buccaneers of the American ruling class to sail the seven seas in search of booty.

Rapine, Pillage and Plunder is their governing ethos. They finance their vile voyages to the fullest extent possible at our expense, and, of course, if they fail, we, the “little people,” bail them out. Their leaders are not CEO’s; they are cutthroats. They are not bankers, but buccaneers. Not executives, but executioners. Not privatizers, but privateers.

Robert Rubin is the hero of the Rape of Russia, deregulator—i.e., decriminalizer—extraordinaire, mumbojumbo mumbling high priest of the Church of Market Fundamentalism, CEO of one more Murder Incorporated, and a very useful factotum for the global Killer Elites.

“The rich are the scum of the earth in every country,” Chesterton reminds us. How could we ever forget?

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By mill, January 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

Now all that has to happen is that every financial company officer who profited handsomely from illusory gains by their companies in the last decade or so should return every damn dime to the company coffers .. starting with the likes of Mr. Rubin and Mr Paulson.

Then we start putting them in jail for fraudulent misrepresentations to the markets and the people of the United States.  Maybe execute a few - after all,  these people did kill with their fraud, as suicides resulted from their bad faith, their bubble-building financial shenanigans.  Why shouldn’t some key players pay the ultimate price?

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By KDelphi, January 11, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Blackspeare—“Individuals” involved were not as lucky as investors, bankers, etc. The middle class got nothing of this (now $2.5 trilion, as you probab ly know) debacle, and, we will all be paying for it forever…

The middle class was forced into the stock mkt by privitization policies. They shouldve never been there in the first place.

I know what you are saying…I wish that Madof would sit in a cell the rest of his life. Family heirlooms or no…many people are selling old family heirlooms, just to make rent or mortgage.

The “flaw” is the capitalism, in my opinion.

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By blog dog, January 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rubin, aka Mr. Derivative, on the Obama financial team along with Summers and Volker - all real winners, well at least at paving the way for themselves and their friends to get to the top - you’ll want to point that out to all your smitten Obamaphile friends and neighbors.

We will hear the most populist, peace-loving rhetoric from this regime - we will get exactly the opposite and it will be sneakier than ever.

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By Blackspeare, January 11, 2009 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

It is interesting to note that all parties to the current economic downturn, whether investment firms, banks, regulators, etc, as well as the individuals involved are all doing well even the ones that were absorbed——and that’s called “Capitalism.”

Madoff is the poster boy for greed and the economic debacle, but his mistake, as with all crooks, is getting caught.  He just waited to long to leave the country for a neutral location, have his wife donate a large sum to BHO’s eventual library and get his pardon——it’s really that easy!

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By KDelphi, January 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

You got it, Larry..capitalism for us, socialism for the haves and have mores.

So we are giving more tax cuts to these people…why???

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By jackpine savage, January 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

...for every single customer to pull all their money out of the big money changer and money laundring houses and put it in the small home town banks. ~samosamo

Selah

I do love how the wizards who promoted this debacle are now scratching their heads and wondering where the flaw in their reasoning was.  I’ll tell you where it was: believing that their reasoning couldn’t be flawed. (That and being crooks.)

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By Shift, January 10, 2009 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

“My great regret is that I and so many of us who have been involved in this industry for so long did not recognize the serious possibility of the extreme circumstances that the financial industry faces today,” Rubin wrote. “

Greed is blind.

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By leftyrite, January 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Robert Rubin, of all people, should know who Frank Partnoy is by now. I’m Joe Schmoe, and I do. Partnoy is a law professor out of the University of San Diego. His books, FIASCO and Infectious Greed, have been on the market for years. A former derivatives trader, Partnoy’s analysis of the current crisis began years before it hit. Ditto Kevin Phillips. Heard of him?

Rubin got to the place that he’s in now through hubris. To countenance him scratching his head and wondering about it all is equivalent to credulously believing that Madoff was sending keepsakes to his relatives.

These guys are our best and brightest. (Repeat daily.)

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By BobZ, January 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Robert Rubin epitomizes the rampant greed that took over the financial sector and Wall Street. His encouragement of greater risk taking in the name of greater profits was grossly irresponsible and a disservice to the bank, the shareholders, the employees, the banking industry, and the United States of America. Congress needs to wake up and reregulate even more vigorously so our national financial interests are protected. We cannot leave our vital interests in the heads of such irresponsible leaders as Rubin. He is one of about a dozen leaders who have thrown our country into a financial panic that will take us years to dig ourselves out of and will throw huge debts on our children and grandchildren.

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By 1twenty1, January 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The excision of plighted CEOs has begun.  Heads are rolling like Easter eggs down the White House Lawn.  I guess that severance pkg. will get you through a couple of months give or take a few decades.  Happy New Year guys.  Tell your chauffeur I said hi.

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By samosamo, January 10, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

I am telling everybody, bitch and moan all you want to and still do nothing but the greatest weapon of mass destruction these financial terrorists deserve is for every single customer to pull all their money out of the big money changer and money laundring houses and put it in the small home town banks. And regulate the hell out of these biggest threats to our country.
And this guy rubin is nothing but the poster boy of crooks that belong to the white male country clubs of banks, each rubbing each other’s crotch for that bogus alpha male position that they crave so much but don’t deserve. He would look a lot better in jump suit orange with silver braclets on both hands.

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By Eric L. Prentis, January 10, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Mr. Rubin’s tenure at Citigroup is a complete failure in spite of his $115 million dollar compensation. Citi is bankrupt and kept in business by the government committing approximately $309 billion taxpayer dollars to prop up the company. To add insult to injury, Citi continues to pay executive bonuses, dividends, go on junkets and spend many millions of dollars on the NY Mets new Citi Field and the Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi. The financial ruling class thinks they are entitled to business as usual on the taxpayer’s dime, i.e., “what’s good for Citi is good for America.”

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By Purple Girl, January 10, 2009 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

At the very least we should be ‘even’ since I own nothing near what they Owe US now. Same goes for that furnance loan I have with AIG…Careful Boys I’m going to increae your interest rate for late or skipped payments. Citi just raised theirs to 29.99%, whats that come out to on a 300 Billion loan, compounded Daily??
Why we did not just seize the company (and all its subsidiaries) is beyond my comprehension. In fact why not seize all the top brasses assets, since they have embezzled it anyway. Let’s be honest the Banking & Investment groups with the help of their whores in the WH & Congress have committed Economic Treason. Heads need to Literally roll!

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By Leisure Suit Larry, January 10, 2009 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The idea that I must give my money (by force of law) to First National City, (Now Citi/Traveler’s) is abhorant.  This is the bank which told me that I needed to pay extra to see a real teller) back before ATM fees, This is the bank which told my sister “$1000 isn’t enough money to open a checking account. This is the bank that after doing business with four generations of my family told me that they were not in business to serv those making fewer than 100,000 dollars a year.

(I went down the street to Republic (used to be Brooklyn Dime Savings)where I have been very happy since.

Citi (under the capitalist mantra of supply and demand) should fail. the stockholders, and employees who made this bank a sloppy fat inefficent entity should all suffer the (very) forseeable consequences.

What I must know(in order to do effective business) are we socialist, or capitalist? This Hybrid of socialism for the rich, (but only their losses) and capitalism for the rest of us is unfair, unbalanced, and without a long term future.

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