Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Weill, Citigroup's Fall Intertwined

By Eric Jackson

01/06/10 - 06:01 AM EST

Stock quotes in this article: C , BAC

Sandy Weill, former chairman and CEO of Citigroup(C Quote), is disappointed.

Weill, who was the architect of the financial supermarket concept, the builder of the global bank on which the sun never set, and the main proponent of repealing the Glass-Steagall Act which allowed banks which were too big to fail, went public this past weekend with his beefs on how he's been portrayed for contributing to Citi's failure. His arguments are long on sour grapes and short on details.

In his interview over the weekend with the New York Times, Weill pointed out that Chuck Prince (his successor) and John Reed (his co-CEO following Citi's merger with Travelers) were more to blame for the bank's problems than him. Weill also blamed a lack of management quality, for which he agrees he's partly to blame, for Citi's undoing.

Weill used the interview as a vehicle to try and rehabilitate his image. His main points are that (1) Citi will always be his baby and he's taken the bank's fall from grace very hard; (2) he was an important person in shaping Citi but he's only one person and he left the top job in 2003 and the chairman's role in 2006 before problems emerged; (3) he's been a major benefactor in his post-Citi years; (4) despite accusations that he drove Jamie Dimon away from the bank in 1999, he wasn't ready to retire and Dimon only would stay if he got the CEO job; and (5) Weill has tried to help Citi since trouble broke out but has been rebuffed by the board.

[This post is an excerpt of the full article, which available on TheStreet.com by clicking here.]

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