Friday, January 16, 2009

Citigroup: Two Broken Pieces Not Better Than One Broken Piece

Citigroup (C) announced that they will splinter into two pieces. Two broken pieces do not equal one fixed financial supermarket or whatever they want to call it now. Unless the assets are fixed or sold, the bad stuff will continue to have a cancerous effect on Citigroup’s ability to create wealth.

They talk about fixing the board soon. This would be very welcome as they clearly have ultimate responsibility. Given the close supervision of the Fed, Treasury and anything else from Washington it would be interesting to see how the changes are being managed and what the score cards are. Will directors with all their responsibilities be allowed to get off scott free and walk away from this mess.

How are they picking the new guy’s? Probably not unemployed republicans. This will have a subtle perhaps secretive effective on the selection of board members and ultimately how boards operate in all financial institutions. How will investors be able to assess governance and know if their investments are in good shape.