Well, not yet, but nearly.
Citi’s stock has dropped below $4 per share, after falling off the cliff the past few weeks. (Maybe it’s now digging its way to China?) Despite the drop, CEO Vikram “2 Legit 2 Quit” Pandit says Citi’s not selling. Not piece by piece, such as ditching Smith Barney and its credit card business. Or the old fashioned way, by auctioning off the whole shebang.
Not that he has much of a choice. Perhaps the only bank left that could even stop to consider merging with or buying Citi is Goldman, and though Goldman did consider a Citi marriage not too long ago, back then it actually had some spare cash in a piggy bank to buy a few-carat ring, but now it barely has enough laying around to pay a dude with fully-inked sleeves down on Sixth Avenue to tattoo a thin circle around Vikram’s ring finger.
Seems if a Citi sale isn’t likely to happen, there's only one person who can save the Big C now, and his first name rhymes with bank. (If that clue's not enough for you, he also shares a surname with Meat Loaf’s character in . Hint: "His name is Robert ...")
Sorry I missed this report the other day, but I thought I clicked onto The Onion's site by accident because it had to do with a big bank headed by a guy named Mack the Knife hiring several new employees. That’s right, we’re talking about Morgan Stanley, which in the past three weeks picked up over 100 new financial advisors, half of which it poached from rivals such as Citi’s Smith Barney unit and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch. As you may recall, BofA revealed a new retention package for its newly acquired brokerage staff not too long ago that caused some Merrill brokers to start dialing headhunter numbers (and, apparently, 1-800-STA-NLEY) faster than the drop of a Citi share.