Wachovia Ditches Citigroup for Wells Fargo

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Wachovia, the banking operations of which Citigroup had agreed to acquire four days ago for $2.2 billion, has now announced it has struck a deal to sell the whole bank to Wells Fargo for about $15.1 billion in stock — without an FDIC backstop, which Citi had required. "This deal will come at no cost to the American taxpayer," Wachovia CEO Bob Steel said in the conference call this morning. Smug. Will this be the thing that makes Citi CEO Vikram Pandit (left) finally stop smiling? [NYT]