Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sandy Weill, Builder Of Too Big To Fail, No Longer Accepts Blame For Crisis (C)

From Gongloff@HuffPo:
The man who brought you Too Big To Fail has had just about enough of everybody blaming him for big banks failing.
In an interview with Fortune's Nin-Hai Tseng, Sandy Weill, the former CEO of Citigroup, said his lumbering beast of a bank, and other lumbering beasts like it, aren't to blame for the crisis.
Weill was the CEO of Citigroup until late 2003, during the key "becoming a monstrous disaster waiting to happen" phase of its existence. He lobbied, tirelessly and successfully, to break down Depression-era regulations against banks becoming too big. He even has a plaque in his office that boasts "The Shatterer of Glass-Steagall," according to a New York Times report.

And after (or, really, before) those regulatory shackles were cast aside, Weill worked tirelessly and successfully to bolt as many moving parts onto Citigroup as he could. Every other bank followed suit, just to keep up. Citi was king of them all for a while, the biggest bank in the world, and Weill rode off into the sunset in 2006, when he retired as chairman, his handiwork complete.

And then the wheels started to come off. About a year and a half after his departure as chairman, Citi announced horrific losses due to its exposure to subprime mortgages, and a year after that the government pumped $45 billion into the bank to keep it from creating a black hole into which all of our money would be sucked. Citi has ever since been shedding as many of the parts Sandy Weill bolted on as it can....MORE
Mark does dudgeon as well as anyone.