Scene: Citigroup office. Monday evening. CEO Vikram Pandit, chairman Sir Win Bischoff, CFO Gary Crittenden, and director Robert Rubin are seated in Rubin’s office.
Sir Win Bischoff: Well, it’s been two weeks since Cuomo sent us that bitchy letter demanding we give up our bonuses in light of the massive government bailout we received. Maybe it’s time to throw him a bone.
Vikram Pandit: Aw, do we have to? Watching him get all farklempt about how we haven’t made a decision yet is my only pleasure, now that I’ve given up eating.
Robert Rubin: Since when do you say “farklempt“? You’re from India.
Vikram Pandit: I’ve been in this business a long time.
Sir Win Bischoff: Do we even have any money for bonuses? [Everyone looks at Crittenden]
Gary Crittenden: [Looks startled.] Well I dunno.
Robert Rubin: [Rubbing his stockinged feet together] Maybe we should just leak to the press that we might give up our bonuses.
Vikram Pandit: [Gives him a sharp look] Don’t even think about talking to a reporter, old man.
Sir Win Bischoff: Let’s wait a few more days. Let Cuomo sweat a little more.
Gary Crittenden: [Glancing at Rubin] Dude, your feet reek.
The meeting disbands. Rubin, left sitting alone, looks longingly at the phone. Suddenly, in a quick motion, he picks it up and dials.
Robert Rubin: Hello, Financial Times? We’re thinking of giving up bonuses over here. Yeah. Well, it was my idea. Say that “a person close to Mr Rubin, a former U.S. Treasury secretary” — get that in there — “said that under the circumstances and at this stage of his career, he felt the funds that would have been used for his bonus could be better spent on other employees.” Also I waived my bonus last year. Can you mention that? Thanks.