Meredith Whitney once said that it would take “a new brain” for her to ever invest in Citi. But since former CEO Vikram Pandit was replaced with (new brain) Michael Corbat, some thought she might change her mind.
Well, she didn’t. At least that’s what she said on Bloomberg TVs Surveillance this morning.
Whitney’s problem is, essentially, that Corbat’s giving her nothing to go on. She’s bored.
“We do not know yet. What we do know is Mike O’Neill’s history, he’s the chairman. He likes to downsize, he likes to sell stuff. We know his agenda. We do not know Michael Corbat’s agenda. he did not give us an agenda or even a time stamp for when he’s going to give us an agenda, so it left people a little bit uninspired.”
So what does Whitney like (in terms of banks, of course)? Not really anyone. She sees inefficiency everywhere.
The message that is not getting across here is raise more capital, but the banks can still make money with higher capital levels, they just have to reprice their loans and products. If you look at banks in Turkey, in South America, they have much higher capital levels, but they are lending and a higher rate and they are pricing their products in a way that incorporate higher capital. This is what is frustrating for me about the U.S. system. Loans in the U.S. are still so underpriced. The financial markets are still so gummed up in many cases. And certainly in the consumer market, because banks are not pricing appropriately for risk. ”
Watch the full video below, from Bloomberg:
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