Today is very uncomfortable for Vikram Pandit. After a brief rally this morning due to reports of a possible merger, shares of Citigroup are on another downward slide and have actually, horrifyingly fallen below the $4 mark as of around 11 a.m. “Investors right now aren’t convinced that we’re done seeing dead bodies on the Citigroup balance sheet,” one equity analyst told Bloomberg News today. The Journal was way harsher, calling the slide “an illustration of what happens when the market loses all confidence in a company’s ability to do, well, anything.”
But this morning on an internal company conference call, Pandit told employees that there were no bodies in the basement, and that Citigroup’s capital position is actually very strong. “Rumor mongering,” he said, “is at the heart of our problems.” There are rumors, too, of his own demise. This morning CNBC reported they’d heard that Pandit, who replaced Chuck Prince in this thankless job only a little less than a year ago, may step down. We can’t say we blame him.
Right now he can probably barely even walk to the bathroom without feeling the cold, prickly feeling of someone staring at the back of his neck. Any second he’s going to bust out with a “What are you SAYING,” and some innocent administrative assistant is going to get canned. Sure, he’s still got that adorable little face, but we’d stay out of his way.
Stocks Waver After Brutal Selloff [WSJ]
Citigroup’s Pandit Doesn’t Plan to Break Up Company [Bloomberg]
Citigroup’s Pandit: We Will Not Sell Smith Barney [CNBC]
Pink Slip For Uncle Vik? [DealBreaker]