So amidst the whole Lehman anniversary navel gazing, and the whole Dick Fuld being
emotionally all over the place (one minute he hugs, the next he repents, then he’s angry and wants the whole world to know the truth), has everyone forgotten that Citi is still a mess?
Vikram must be rejoicing and experiencing a bit of Schadenfreude, witnessing all the bad attention Dick is getting while he can bask a little longer in the sun and enjoy the Indian Summer. The CEO has been lying low the past few weeks, leaving all the media glory to his fallen peers. But this won’t make Citi’s problem loans (commercial real estate, here we come again) go away.
As Christopher Whalen recently put it, the deterioration in loan defaults will trigger credit losses at the 34% government-owned bank that “could require additional injections of capital a la Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even with the flow of subsidies that has increased C revenue greatly from 2008 run rates.”
So hey Vikram, enjoy it while you can. Despite all the noise, the Lehman anniversary will come and go. At some point, you will come back in the spotlight when people will start wondering once again, what you’ve been up to, and why you’re still on the job.