It's always the little things. In last week's row over the huge losses at Merrill Lynch, we learned that $15 billion of your kids' dough was flushed down the toilet in the form of year-end bonuses for Merrill staff. And this in a year that Merrill saw cumulative losses of greater than $40 billion. Though there was plenty of outrage, the story that really caught people's attention that day was the Gasparino piece in The Daily Beast about John Thain's $1.2 million dollar office redecoration.
Hmm. We have $15 billion in ridiculous bonuses versus $1 million in walking toilets. It was a commode with legs after all. Advantage: commode.
Yesterday we learned that Citi was preparing to take delivery on a luxury 12-seater that they ordered in 2006. The cost, $50 million. Meanwhile Citi has stolen $45 billion from your kids already (plus a $300 billion asset guarantee), all in the past 14 weeks. Advantage: luxury 12-seater.
It's not that surprising, really. Some outrages resonate more than others. So today, in the first symbolic win for the taxpayers since the auto execs were forced to hitch a ride to Washington, Citi announced that it will not take delivery of the new plane.
And you know what, we'll take it. Though mostly symbolic, a win is a win, and we sure as hell needed one. So come on inside where the taxpayer takes a victory lap as we examine how it all went down.
We have 4 unique takes on the story, each a great read. Plus, today was Citi's annual Investor Day and we've got the transcript of all the lies Pandit was telling.