Rejecting the posture that most of the big banks who received TARP funds have maintained throughout the latter portion of the financial crisis, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit is expected to — get this — tell a government panel today that his bank owes “a large debt of gratitude” to the government and taxpayers. The Times, which saw some of his prepared testimony for the Congressional Oversight Committee hearing today, says he plans to recognize the importance of the $45 billion in aid Citi borrowed from the government, describing it as having “built a bridge over the crisis to a sound footing on the other side.” This is exactly the kind of rhetoric that other bank leaders — maybe some slightly taller, a little bit more gorgeous bank leaders — have studiously avoided, having carefully heaped scorn on TARP and the fact that some of them were forced to accept it. Of course, some of those other silver-tressed, full-lipped banks have paid back their TARP funds, while the government still owns 27 percent of Citi. So yeah, apparently not everybody’s lucky enough to be able to wear a spine underneath their moderately tailored Brooks Brothers suits.
Pandit to Offer Thanks for Government Bailout [DealBook/NYT]