If Meredith Whitney’s right, Citi’s going to the dogs no matter how hard Vikram Pandit tries to bed it down amongst the roses.
Whitney says Pandit faces an “impossible feat” in turning Citi around. The associated costs, according to Whitney, are simply too “seismic” and the revenue streams too feeble.
From the Whitney perspective, Pandit’s decision to divest $400bn of non-core assets and cut 9,000 jobs makes no difference. She predicts the associated restructuring costs will be prohibitively expensive and that profits (and therefore bonuses) will be minimal for the next three to five years.
To make matters worse, questions are being raised about Pandit’s stewardship of the big bank.
Why, for instance, has he placed an ex-head of Morgan Stanley’s equities business in charge of everything from investment banking, fixed income, corporate banking and alternative asset management at Citigroup, despite a manifest lack of broad organisational experience?
If Pandit fails, Citi will not be a pretty sight. Is now the time to take evasive action and send your CV elsewhere? Alternatively, put the pro-Pandit case below.