The Mike Mayo vs. Citigroup story has been one of the more interesting battles of late. The well-known banking analyst has been a large critic of the bank’s accounting, and the bank has prevented him from meeting with Vikram Pandit.
Well, the bank has changed its tune. On CNBC, Mayo says he finally got a meeting with Citi on October 1, and that Vikram Pandit will show up.
In addition to his critique of the bank’s accounting, Mayo is slamming its culture, which is also the subject of the latest Charlie Gasparino column at The Daily Beast:
The cost of Citigroup’s crappy (some would say corrupt) corporate culture became crystal clear last week, when the Securities & Exchange Commission released documents that showed just how many people inside Citigroup’s management team knew about its massive risk-taking, and the losses that would ultimately doom the bank.
…according to the SEC, in September 2007, Citigroup was confronted with the truth about its future: At least a half dozen senior executives—including CEO Chuck Prince, and Executive Committee Chairman Robert Rubin, maybe the second-most-powerful executive at the firm (for all his influence and compensation, the former Treasury secretary maintains that management responsibilities were not in his job description) and the board—were informed that the firm’s exposure to losses from investments in risky mortgage debt were in all likelihood some $40 billion larger than originally disclosed.
Felix Salmon has weighed in on this issue as well, arguing that Robert Rubin ought to be fined for not fully disclosing the extent of the company’s risky mortgage exposure. CFO Gary Crittenden was forced to pay a (fairly paltry) $100,000.