Sunday, November 4, 2007

Citigroup: Prince Chucked; Rubin Regent

From the New York Times Dealbook blog:
Citi Watch: Rubin and Bischoff Are In

It is over.
Charles O. Prince III has resigned from Citigroup, with Robert E. Rubin serving as interim chairman and Winfried Bischoff as interim chief executive, people briefed on the matter told The New York Times.

Citigroup will also announce Monday that it will take another $8 billion to $11 billion in write-downs, this person said. That would be in addition to the $5.9 billion that it wrote down in early October, when it reported third-quarter results.

The appointments are intended to reassure Wall Street while the board looks for a successor to Mr. Prince, whose resignation came after the company suffered major losses as a result of its large exposure to bad loans and mortgage-related securities.

Mr. Rubin, who has held the largely advisory role as chairman of the bank’s executive committee, will take on a wider role, though he continues to balk at supervising the bank’s daily operations. Mr. Rubin has long insisted that he does not want to take over as chief executive....MORE

That headline remined me of some famous defenestrations:

  • In the book of 2 Kings in the Bible, Jezebel is defenestrated by her own servants at the urging of Jehu.
  • It has been suggested by several chronicles (notably the Annals of Westhide Abbey) that King John killed his nephew, Arthur of Brittany, by throwing him from a window in the castle at Rouen, France, in 1203.
  • In 1383, Bishop Dom Martinho was defenestrated by the citizens of Lisbon, having been suspected of conspiring with the enemy when Lisbon was besieged by the Castilians.
  • On April 26, 1478, after the failure of the "Pazzi conspiracy" to murder the ruler of Florence, Lorenzo de' Medici, Jacopo de' Pazzi was defenestrated.
  • In 1572, French King Charles IX's friend, the Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny, was killed in accordance with the wishes of Charles' mother, Catherine de' Medici. Charles had allegedly said "then kill them all that no man be left to reproach me." Thousands of Protestants were killed in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre after soldiers attacked Coligny in his house, stabbed him, and threw him out the window.
  • On the morning of December 1, 1640 in Lisbon, a group of supporters of the Duke of Bragança party found Miguel de Vasconcelos, the hated Portuguese Secretary of State of the Habsburg Philip III, hidden in a closet, killed him and defenestrated him. His corpse was left to the public outrage.
  • Defenestrations are a common (fictional) event in the works of the Marquis de Sade. They are less gruesome than many of the atrocities in his works, but they are typically lethal.
  • The Revolutions of 1848 in France led to a period of unrest in Germany. When an agitated crowd forced their way into the town hall in Cologne on March 3, two city councillors panicked and jumped out of the window; one of them broke both his legs. The event went down in the city’s history as the "Cologne Defenestration".
  • In 1941, mafia informant Abe "Kid Twist" Reles fell to his death from a window on the sixth floor of the Half Moon Hotel on Coney Island, on the eve of his scheduled testimony. The angle of trajectory suggests that he was defenestrated rather than trying to flee.[citation needed]
  • On March 10, 1948 the Czechoslovakian minister of foreign affairs Jan Masaryk was found dead, dressed in his pajamas, in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry below his bathroom window. The initial 'investigation' stated that he committed suicide by jumping out of the window, although it is now commonly believed that he was murdered by the ascendant Communists.
  • On March 2, 2007 Russian investigative journalist Ivan Safronov, who was researching the Kremlin's covert arms deals, fell to his death from a fifth floor window. Friends and colleagues discount suicide as a reason and an investigation was opened looking into possible "incitement to suicide".
From Wikipedia.

All of which seem better than the reputed end of
Edward II, King of England:
Abdication, then
On the night of October 11 while lying in on a bed [the king] was suddenly seized and, while a great mattress... weighed him down and suffocated him, a plumber's iron, heated intensely hot, was introduced through a tube into his secret parts so that it burned the inner portions beyond the intestines.
Although this account by Sir Thomas More is disputed.

If you want to know more (not More) about King (not Prince) here's
Edward II, Part I: The Gay Blade
From History House

And from a gal who knows more about the subject than any person should:
Oddities in the Narrative of Edward II's Death

And on a lighter note (same source):
Medieval Darwin Awards
Just a short post, while I'm preparing the next proper one. This is about some men related to Edward II and the silly ways they died - candidates for Medieval Darwin Awards!
Emperor Homer
für foto: After Gutenberg

That concludes our Citigroup coverage.
Tune in tomorrow for our regularly scheduled programming.