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Citigroup Must Die

Citigroup must die.

I’m not just saying this because they hold my mortgage (which I originated with Wells Fargo, only to have Wells Fargo sell it to Citigroup – bastards!).

I’m saying this because, despite receiving government assistance, despite being told on the down-low that they probably shouldn’t take delivery of new corporate jets after receiving TARP money (see my blog entry, “The Big Pimpin’ Awards, January 30, 2009), Citigroup or Citibank or Citifailure – pick a name – continues to operate as if they were a successful going concern for which its employees should be rewarded, to wit:

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N) is paying about $13 million to compensate employees who had been expected to go on various trips that were later canceled, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The bank is paying 1,900 employees of its Primerica Financial Services unit $5,000 each, after canceling a February trip for top agents to a Bahamas resort, according to the person, who declined to be named because the information is not public.

Citigroup also awarded employees of its Smith Barney unit $3.5 million of debit cards in lieu of trips, the person said.

Banks that received taxpayer money have been slashing expenses for events and perks amid growing criticism from politicians about costs they deem wasteful.

Some banks have argued that eliminating certain expenses hurts morale and can put them at a competitive disadvantage.

"During this difficult environment, we have deeply cut employee recognition-based costs, in some instances by 80 percent," Citigroup said in a statement. "We need to reward, retain and develop the best employees of these profitable Citi businesses. In the instance of Primerica, we we're legally obligated to do so."

Hold up, Citiplayas. Slow your roll.

For starters, if you have received any government assistance of any kind to stay in business, you have failed. No one in the organization should be rewarded when the entire organization has failed, whether it’s Smith Barney, Primerica, whoever. When a company is on the ropes, it needs to act conservatively to preserve cash – especially when it’s come out of my taxpaying pocket, HELLOOOOO! In times of crisis, there are no trips, no payouts, nada. You hunker down and try to survive. Just ask any furloughed California state worker. The entire state government has failed, and we furloughed folks are taking in the shorts even though we don’t run a damn thing. It’s the way it goes. We’re supposed to be happy that we even have jobs, and I am.

Second, as you can imagine, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about hurting employee morale at these corporate behemoths. Don’t like it that you’re not getting a trip or a debit card payout? Well, walk then. Try your luck down the street with all the other failing banks. Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split ya. My employee morale is down about 9.3 percent – the amount of the pay cut I took just for the privilege of keeping my job. I sure as hell don’t want to subsidize the employee morale for companies that helped start this whole mortgage debacle in the first place.

What I need from my President is that he stop playing nice. He needs to make like a pimp and get these corporate hos in check. From where I stand, they’re up in my pocket, and they’re out of pocket. Nothing like making an example of the worst one to get the others in line.

That, my friends, is why Citigroup must die.


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