CITIBANK – TOO BIG TO FAIL

Like many NRI’s, I am also a customer of CITIBANK. I just want to put out this blog to talk about CITI GROUP and its problems, concerning people who are searching for answers about its bankruptcy and sell off rumors. This day calls for a quick update on this matter.


Economy Struggle


A wild, life threatening roller coaster ride is being played out in the Stock Market all over the world. I did mean life threatening for a reason to make a point. Like a uneven ride dangerous to riders, many people jobs are at stake including 53,000 from CITI Group because of the upheaval in stock market. Blood shed in wall street has been worse these past few weeks. It affected the Main street to large extent. US economy is going thru a real tough time similar to 1929 great depression and witnessing yet another big job loss since 1991, 16 year high. It is bad as it gets and it might get worse as we are approaching the year end.


“The economy is deteriorating tremendously fast,” says Raghuram Rajan, a finance expert at the University of Chicago. “The concern is how much more [risk] is there. This stuff seems unbounded. That’s what the investor is really worried about at this point.”



CITIBANK ISSUES



Being said all about the market, CITI GROUP banking giant is been talks for long time being a major victim of toxic mortgages and bad corporate decisions. Once the biggest U.S. bank, with a market value of $274 billion at the end of 2006, Citigroup has now slipped to No. 5 behind Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp. Last week was one of the bad weeks for the 11 year old group which is formed after merger of CITIBANK and Travellers group in 1998.. It has lost so many billions and has around 2 trillions of dollars in bad debt. It already wrote off billions of dollars as bad debt in books for the last few quarters. Even after announcing 10% last April and 20% job cuts next year to tackle the situation, stock plummeted badly as investor concern about bad debt to 70% last friday since this year..


Including a $25 billion capital injection from the U.S. Treasury under the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, the company has at least $50 billion of capital above the amount required by regulators to qualify as “well capitalized.” according to bloomberg.com. But still, it won’t be able to survive the storm and weather out unless it gets special attention to avoid its bad assets getting on his neck pushing for sell off or bankruptcy. An endorsement by billionaire Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal by investing around 7 billions but still that’s not enough to keep the company afloat.


CITI BANKRUPTCY, TOO BIG TO FAIL


There were worries all over world and even rumors about company spinning off certain parts of its assets. Even rumors about a possible sell off, but who can buy this bank giant. It will be like frog eating a snake, bad for both companies whoever end up buying it. If it collapses to announce a bankrupt Chapter 11, that would be big blow to US economy.


US Government which bailed out AIG which was an insurance Giant came for another rescue by announcing a special massive bail out offer on Nov 24, 2008 designed to rescue the company from bankruptcy while giving the government a major say in its operations. It was the largest bailout in history. The Treasury will provide another $20 billion in (Troubled Assistance Relief Program)TARP funds in addition to $25 billion given in October. The Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC will cover 90% of the losses on its $335-billion portfolio after Citigroup absorbs the first $29 billion in losses.In return the bank will give Washington $27 billion of preferred shares and warrants to acquire stock. The government will obtain wide powers over banking operations.


Is my deposits safe?


If I want to say something about CITIGROUP, I like to say CITI GROUP will never go out of business or nobody can buy this big of a financial service company. SO US Government will do all its best to keep this company alive. With that note, all US bank desposits will be covered under FDIC to the max of 250K. Interestingly, there are lot many credit cards offered by CITI compared to Bank deposits directly to consumers. There might not be a direct impact to consumers like other bank failures.



To be cautious, you will be better to split the deposits and have it different banks. Share your comments and thoughts…

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