Last night we went to see Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit speak at the 92nd Street Y, mostly because we were hoping to wrest him into an adult-size custom Snuggie we had made for him. Alas, that didn’t happen — he sneaked out before we could jump him and pull the fleece over his head — but we did enjoy his accidental declaration that $100 million was too much to pay a castle-owning banker, even one under contract (never mind that Citi paid Viks $800 million for his hedge fund a few years ago — making a buck a year to work for the government has been a real eye-opener, and he is now in full solidarity with the People) and his response to the host’s question about the toxic assets Citigroup still has on its balance sheet.
“I wouldn’t call them toxic,” he said. “They’re just businesses that are maybe not right for us, and they need a home somewhere else.”
Oh. That’s good. So, these aren’t worthless pieces of crap, they’re like adorable puppies that are not entirely housebroken and maybe have some behavioral issues? Like, sure, they may chew up your shoes and pee all over your rugs and bite your kid’s face off now, but if they had a place to run free (like maybe a farm?), they would be transformed. They just aren’t Citi assets.