let them eat stock

Let CNBC Discuss What’s Important About Citi’s 4,000 Layoffs: Stock Prices!

Oh goody, Citibank laid off almost 5% of their workforce RIGHT BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS, and this of course invites serious analysis about a variety of important topics. Like: what will these people and their families do vis a vis jobs? What about the fact that taxpayers bailed out Citi to the tune of $45 billion — does this create a sort of a social contract between Citi and the taxpayers and did Citi break it by laying these people off right before the holidays? What about the fact that recently-departed CEO Vikram Pandit took home over $200 million over the course of his five years at this company — was that appropriate in retrospect, considering that Citi is now engaging in massive layoffs, and if it’s not, what steps should Citi take to ensure that executive pay packages are reasonable?

Except NONE of these topics were explored on CNBC, who devoted their Citi segment to discussing What This Means for the shareholders and for the market, which appeared to be pleased by Citi’s human sacrifice.

According to some guy from JMP Securities, these layoffs make sense. Citi had “fat to churn,” and a large “bureaucracy,” and needed to “streamline” and whatnot. The market had been demanding human sacrifice for “some time,” so this makes sense. Then he rambles on about failed political leadership in the EU, and stuff like “what the president was talking about.” The bottom line is that this uncertain environment is making “Corporate CEOs to not want to transact.” Hence, paycuts for themselves massive layoffs. So yeah, this has nothing to do with poor corporate leadership. It’s “macro,” and also too, the fiscal cliff, and the uncertain economic environment. And let’s not forget about sovereign debt issues, which present “binary” problems. It’ ALL OF THEM, KATIE, ALL OF THEM, except poor corporate decision-making, and also, who cares since Citi’s stock prices just soared and ergo de facto, they are doing something right.

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson
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  1. Disassembly

    "Meanwhile, on the Island of Dr. Moreau, former vice president Dick Cheney was spotted shopping for spare organs."

    1. PubOption

      If the bank pays executives bonuses, rather than repaying TARP funds, the answer is a resounding yes.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        Federal money to executives = capitalism.
        Federal money to anyone else = socialism.

        Can't make it any simpler than that.

  2. BadKitty904

    So. This verifies that the GOP is not only willing to destroy America to advance their agenda, but the entire planet, as well.

    I didn't realize it was the Republican Party's goal to surpass Spectre, Hydra, and other syndicates of evil.

  3. actor212

    Well, in fairness, CNBC is like fantasy league programming for business. It's a pity they don't do real indepth investigations, but they really don't have the resources to do this on the fly.

  4. mrpuma2u

    Merry fucking xmas, citibank mid level functionaries! Your sacrifice will keep the flame of capitalisms burning. For those about to be sacked, we salute you!

          1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

            Yeah, you should get a Russian lady to put hot sauce on your balls like a normal person.


          2. Jus_Wonderin

            Oh my, you didn't mail her your Tabasco'd balls did you???? There MUST have been an easier way.

    1. mrpuma2u

      Hey, some of those ladies seem real nice….I also got a little confused, as one was near the other ad that said perfect gifts for under 13 dollars. I know things are tough in parts of Russia, but that seemed a little too good to be true, er uh if i was in the market for such a thing, yeah.

        1. Jus_Wonderin

          I have that contract. They will be ready for sale in Q2 2013. I must say I like the fact that Wonkette has allowed me to express my creativity by molding them in the early Cubist style.

          Do you want to preorder?

    2. SorosBot

      I'm more disturbed by the ads for Newsmax, which laughably claim to be "Independent" even as the headlines out them as Republican shills.

    1. actor212

      Wow. You know, I never thought of it that way.

      Except in this arena, the lions are drunk but know ahead of time where the Christians will be.

      1. sewollef

        Slightly OT, but be thankful you're not a Syrian refugee sheltering in what remains of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Bosra ash-Sham — 120 kilometres from Damascus and a former city of the Eastern Roman Empire, since the fuckhead known as Assad is attacking it with tanks and bombs.

        The former city of Bosra ash-Sham is over 4,000 years old. It had a population of 19,000 or so in a 2004 census. The current figure is down to a few dozen at most.

        Meanwhile, Assad's tank shells and bombs have also pulverized the “Cradle of the King’s Daughter” open-air temple in the town, dating back 1,800 years.

    2. Guppy

      I was leaning more towards Mammon, personally. I don't think ancient Roman Teabaggers worshiped the gladiatorial games process in quite the same way.

    3. Rotundo_

      I always thought of them as the disembodied voices on that one Star Trek original series episode where Kirk and Spock are slated to fight to the death while a bunch of christmas tree lights in frosted lucite boxes bet Quatloos on the newcomer. The way the one said "20 Quatloos on the newcomah!" just seemed like the mindset of the modern investment class to me. Some poor bastard about to get killed in a gladiatorial contest and there are a bunch of colored lights in a box sounding like they're about to fire off a load over betting on it.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Yeah …. the 99% are free of the million bucks that might otherwise have been put into their pockets.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Might be fun to go there and open up the Citadel Federal Credit Union … without telling them exactly how it works.

  5. SayItWithWookies

    What about the fact that taxpayers bailed out Citi to the tune of $45 billion — does this create a sort of a social contract between Citi and the taxpayers and did Citi break it by laying these people off right before the holidays?

    Oh, of course our bailout of Citi makes them obligated to us — thereby increasing their executives' joy that we didn't put that (or further restrictions on their profligacy and sadism) in writing and hold them to it.

      1. SorosBot

        Nope, the only times class warfare is bad is when the victims start fighting back instead of lying down and smiling as they are beaten.

        1. Biel_ze_Bubba

          It's only class warfare if the victims start to fight it. Up to that point, it's just business.

    1. jello_mold

      Thank God we are a nation of laws or else those employees'd be getting a bullet for xmas amiright?

    1. SorosBot

      You mean the captive slaves who, to celebrate the feast of Yule, were hung on a sacred fir tree and sacrificed to Odin, in a practice that evolved to our hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree?

  6. edgydrifter

    Obviously, none of these layoffs would have been necessary if HUSSEIN wasn't threatening a small increase to Vikram Pandit's marginal tax rate. The uncertainty, people, it's the uncertainty.

  7. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    If I was getting laid off I would use this as an opportunity to sell magic Jesus beans to a particular community of imbiciles located somewhere in North Idaho.

    1. Jus_Wonderin

      How long does it take to grow a Jesus and when do I plant? I already know I need to store the beans in a cave and wait the stone to be rolled away.

  8. Spurning Beer

    The screen grab says 11,000 jobs, and Kris E. Benson says 4,000. Is there an exchange rate involved? Inflation? Are members of the 99 percent worth four-elevenths of a person?

  9. gullywompr

    There's not a financial reporter in the world who is not in the tank for shareholders. It's why the Twinkie thing was reported as the union's fault.

    1. Rotundo_

      Not really so much for the shareholders as the corporations and the brokerages and banks. These were the assholes (Cough!! Jim Cramer, Cough!!) who were selling shit for Belgian Chocolate literally until the mortgage firms started shuttering. If they were even casually interested in the shareholder, no CEO or representative of *any* company would go within audible or visual distance of them.

      1. gullywompr

        I think we agree, let me try it this way – The financial reporter's job is to describe share prices, and as such they are in the tank for the owners, not the workforce. Shareholders are the owners, and executives and investors often hold large portions. Whether the workforce has a happy holiday or not is just not part of their beat. Report that shit day after day, and their worldview becomes… limited.

    1. widestanceromance

      The CNBC dorks will be what gets picked out from between the teeth of the greatest economic system ever created when it eats its own damn self.

  10. Veritas78

    One of the most satisfying financial moves I've ever made was when I closed my account with the Bank of Evil Thieves and put it all in a credit union.

  11. jello_mold

    Paging Madame Defarge… Madame Defarge…white courtesy guillotine….

    Fucking bastards, no snark.

  12. Antispandex

    Well, THIS will get people into the streets, demanding that there be a little more respect for workers, raising hell until there is some fairness in the governemnt and humanity in the boardrooms! Am I right? Who's with me? No one? Really? Shit! What's on the old tee vee tonight?

  13. TootsStansbury

    Hate is a strong word for a libtard like me but I hate these fuckers, I really do. Corporate greed monsters, right wing zealots, authoritarian fundies, I hate them all.

      1. TootsStansbury

        Naked short-sighted greed, blind adherence to dogma, a need to bend all others to one's will and disregard of reality in order to score political "points"; yeah, I'm running out of tolerance.

    1. elviouslyqueer

      Now now, remember that these weren't "job losses." They're "diminishing unsustainable payroll units." So no harm, no foul. And no new taxes!

  14. PuckStopsHere

    I'm only surprised that they didn't couple the announcement with by telling customers that they would be increasing ATM fees. Also.

    1. TootsStansbury

      Mr. Stansbury and I were talking about that this morning. No Mr. Jones, I can't give you your money right now, it's helping Mrs. Smith buy a house and Mr. Brown buy his tractor. Nowdays? No Mr. Jones, I can't give you your money right now, it's mine, it's in my pocket.

  15. HouseOfTheBlueLights

    $200,000,000 = about 1000 jobs at $45,000/year during his tenure. He probably spent, what, how much could you possibly spend? $4-5 mil a year? $25 mil? and then the other hundred mil is just sitting in some off shore account. You should hear my wingnut friends defend this shit on the grounds that these folks will "spend money in my shop." (not kidding)

  16. glasspusher

    Fuck Citi and the horse they rode in on. I gotta drop my account. Only good thing about them is my local branch. The rest of the outfit sucks- their online banking, mobile apps…thank you points? Please. Thank you points are the interest points you should be shaving off my credit card bill.

      1. Gorillionaire

        I like to think that Handsome Joe cheerfully told everyone in the checkout line that he was gonna go straight home and stick his dick into that pie. "That's why I got a extra large one!" he'll quip, laughing loudly and elbowing the giggling ladies next him.

        1. glasspusher

          Yeah, just checked NYT web site, they said 11k jobs, about 4% of work force. Amazing how I can remember some things I learned this morning…now what did I have for breakfast?

  17. SorosBot

    I would have expected better from the network that continues to employ noted failed prognosticator and prop comic Jim Cramer.

  18. glasspusher

    True story- I once got called by them for an survey of how I liked "my experience the last time visiting my local branch" which quickly devolved into me telling them that if the rest of their business was as nice to folks and together as my local branch I wouldn't hate them at all. Told them to fix the rest of their house rather than calling me to find out how I felt about the one part of them that was in good shape. Goat fuckers.

  19. emmelemm

    I find it appropriate that this segment in the screen capture above says "Squawk on the Street", cuz these guys are all just parrots, jibber-jabbering.

    1. barto

      I dunno, seems more like a big dick to me. btw, how'd you happen across that ad, hmm? just askin for a buddy….

  20. PubOption

    Did anyone else see an ad about socialist mass transit systems before the Citibank job cuts video?

  21. kyeshinka

    This is really too bad, because I had such a positive impression of capitalism up until this point.

  22. Biel_ze_Bubba

    4,000 people, say $100,000 per person (what with white collar urban salaries and benefits), so $400 million saved. That's enough to buy two CEOs, people! Huge savings!!!

    1. RadioBitchFace

      Haha, I literally just did the same calculation. And Zeus forbid that those two CEO/job creators would have their marginal tax rate raised 3 %. Marxism!!1! Inpeach!!

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      That's a given. Also a given that Fox won't mention Pandit the Bandit's stock options, whose (taxable at 15%) value just jumped up nicely. (In time for his Christmas shopping, if you're looking for the bright side.)

  23. calliecallie

    Every quarter my husband gets a dividend check from Citi for 73 cents. He inherited some shares from his dad, and in 2008 they did the opposite of splitting shares, although I don't know what they call that. Bottom line is his stock is worth 1/10th of what it was when he got it. It probably costs them much more to print that quarterly check than to pay when it's cashed, and I'm sure my husband is not the only small shareholder getting a ridiculous amount like that. I guess laying off employees is just easier than actually making your business more efficient. THAT might involve an actual thought process.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      It's called a reverse split. Keeps the stock from selling at ten cents a share, which is just embarassing (and violates stock exchange rules.)
      Could be worse – the money could be in a Citi "savings" account, in which case the interest would be less than the postage stamp needed to tell you about it.

  24. Callyson

    What about the fact that recently-departed CEO Vikram Pandit took home over $200 million over the course of his five years at this company — was that appropriate in retrospect, considering that Citi is now engaging in massive layoffs, and if it’s not, what steps should Citi take to ensure that executive pay packages are reasonable?

    Clawback, baby, clawback!

  25. ttommyunger

    I'll never know, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that this move and its timing is in whole or part a retaliatory blow at Barry to hurt him and the Country's morale and numbers in response to Sen-Elect Liz Warren's posting to the Senate Banking Committee. This could get interesting.

    1. OneDollarJuana

      Yes, but I think that the majority of Americans have figured out who the real assholes are in the financial mess, and Citibank's move won't win them any friends, even among so-called "independents".

      1. ttommyunger

        I guess they figure with a gazillion bucks in their pocket you don't need friendsSent from the Field, not in Garrison.

  26. PopeEdgardo

    "You can't break eggs without making an omlet." 40 points fo anyone who can identify that without googling.

  27. Mittaplasia

    The difference between a dead bankster and a dead snake lying in the middle of the road: skid marks in front of the snake.

  28. Wile E. Quixote

    Hey, if you're a Citigroup employee and you've been laid off I know how you can get free room and board and medical care for the rest of your life. Just shoot Vikram Pandit in the head. Three hots and a cot at your local penitentiary, of course this is assuming that you could find a jury willing to convict.

  29. LibrarianX

    Freedom and the wisdom of the market – gotta love it. Well, I guess those fired people are now free to watch shitty daytime teevee.

  30. GeneralLerong

    Y'know, I really miss the 18th century, when it was still possible for a mob to gather and burn something to the ground, drag predators and criminals from their mansions, parade them through the streets in tumbrels, and then behead them.

    We need to come up with something besides votes to scare our 1% shitless.

  31. OneDollarJuana

    This Christmas, be sure to point out to your right-wing friends and relatives, if you have any, that the "job creators" have just destroyed 4,000 jobs.

  32. Negropolis

    Except NONE of these topics were explored on CNBC, who devoted their Citi segment to discussing What This Means for the shareholders and for the market, which appeared to be pleased by Citi’s human sacrifice.

    This is why I can't ever watch business news. I can't do it. I even change the channel a lot of times when cable news programs have their business updates. If a CEO and board could automate every single job save their own, they'd not hesitate a second.

  33. Negropolis

    You know the whole Jesus-verse about not being able to serve both God and Mammon? Well, we know what the American powers-that-be chose, right?

    Jesus and Moses are going to be so pissed, you guys…

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going to be under my bed. Don't come a'knockin' when the heavens start a'rockin'.

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