Be Afraid

Panic at Citi

So what’s in store for Citigroup, which lost half of its value this week and is worth 10 percent of its 2006 value? According to The Guardian, CEO Vikram Pandit has made clear to senior executives that in today’s emergency meetings “everything is on the table.” Possibilities include a merger with another banking group, a sale of the company, and a fire sale of assets and divisions. Executives have already begun drawing up plans for the sale of Smith Barney, the global credit card unit, and the transaction services unit. Citi’s shares today were down to $3.54. If they fail to rise above $5 before the year’s end, big mutual funds and other institutional investors will be forced to sell their holdings, as rules prohibit them from investing clients’ money in such cheap stocks. Such a move would likely a cause a total collapse of share prices.