10 January 2009
Citigroup has effectively been nationalized with its government stake. I’ve had an account there since it was First National City Bank, and have owned its stock since it was the first bank to set up ATMs. At that time Citibank was the largest bank in the world and a solid blue chip stock. But then Citicorp merged with a patchwork of finance companies controlled by Sanford Weill, and became the ridiculous sounding Citigroup. That always reminded me of some third world outfit with a prefix called “Grupo.” It now is apparently going to break away pieces it should never have had in the first place, its stock price is in the low single digits, and due to the amount of money the government has put into the bank that equity has been diluted even further. That also explains why Citigrupo came out in support of legislation to let judges rewrite mortgage terms at the behest of the feds. I hope they at least change the name back to Citicorp.