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by Aman Singh Das | April 01, 2010


Taking a step away from discussing loaded CSR issues, today, in the spirit of April Fools' Day, here's to a blogger who takes everyday issues and infuses them with his own take on social responsibility. Earlier this week, Ramesh penned an open letter to Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citigroup, on his blog, Business Musings . Take a look at an excerpt from his letter below:

Vikram Pandit

 "You are probably used to receiving hate mail, but here's a letter that you might be very pleased to read. I read in the Wall Street Journal that the United States Government is planning to sell its 27% holding in Citigroup over the next few months. It is heartening to note that US tax payers are expected to make a profit of $ 7bn from their original “bailout” money that they gave to Citigroup. You have not only paid back the entire amount, but also let the taxpayer make a profit of $ 7bn."

 "Yours was the last bank from which the government is completely recovering the money it lent under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, more popularly called the bank bailout. The US government invested a total of $165bn in all the banks and in the end it has made a 14% return; not bad considering that if the tax payer had invested in the S&P index at the same period he would have lost 3% by now."

While interesting in itself, it is the end of the letter that caught my attention: "I am also aware that while you achieved all this, you have taken home a salary of $1. The taxpayer has made money; the shareholders have made money, the customers have been protected and for all this, you are being rewarded an annual remuneration of $1. This is a crying shame. I propose that you be awarded a bonus of some $10m for outstanding achievement."

After a year of bad press, hate mail and an emphatic thumbs down by Fortune for being one of the least admired companies (Read my take on the ranking: Goldman Glows, Citi Sleeps), in huge part, because of the bonuses controversy, the government bailout and the mass layoffs in the banking sector, this letter celebrating Mr. Pandit's good citizenship (however forced it might seem) should work as welcome salve for Citi and its wounded leader. And provide some comic relief for the rest of us.

Continue reading the letter on his blog, Business Musings.

Got an April Fools' Day story to share? Leave a comment or email In Good Company. And, of course, if you'd rather tweet, connect with me on Twitter @VaultCSR!


Filed Under: CSR