John Mack Reaches Out To Vikram Pandit

Despite Morgan Stanley’s insistence that they don’t need a merger partner, John Mack did reach out to Citigroup on Tuesday, but why?

NY Times: But as the fear that gripped markets after Lehman Brothers failed also enveloped the firm, John J. Mack, Morgan Stanley’s chief executive, spoke Tuesday evening with Citigroup‘s chief executive, Vikram S. Pandit, about a possible combination, according to people briefed on the talks.

On Thursday, however, Morgan Stanley vigorously denied a report in The New York Times that Mr. Mack had said that Morgan needed to seek a merger in order to remain in business.

Mr. Mack was said to have made the comment in the conversation with Mr. Pandit. Citigroup, which had declined to comment on Wednesday night, also denied Thursday that such a comment had been made during the conversation.

So Mack says Morgan doesn’t need to merge to stay in business and Citigroup denied that Morgan Stanley asked them to merge, but he didn’t deny that the two spoke. So what were the two former colleagues talking about?

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