The New Citigroup

As part of its ongoing PR-ification of the financial crisis, Citigroup has posted the hilariously tautological “A Safer Approach to Risk“.

Here’s a quote from the article:

For our society to function efficiently, capital needs to flow. But the attendant risk must be better managed. That’s why we’ve strengthened our commitment to responsible finance.

And here’s another notable quote from recent history:

“as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.”
-Citi Chief on Buyouts: ”˜We’re Still Dancing’, DealBook, July 2007

Exactly how much of that culture has actually changed? You can revamp how you do business, but it’s not just Citi that’s broken. It’s the entire culture and machinery of top-tier capitalism. They may be chagrined, but that is only temporary.

Profit through obfuscation. Profit through leveraging the power that money provides. Profit through PR.

Why not profit through generating value? How about that for a change? Sheesh. I’m sick of financial companies that treat business like a giant card trick.

In other words, I remain to be convinced…

7 thoughts on “The New Citigroup

    1. I’m not sure there’s a way to safely manage zombies. In fact, call me a conspiracy theorist, but I’m convinced that zombies got us into this mess in the first place.

      You can’t manage zombies. The only answer is to kill ’em all.


  1. brent

    The three biggies with zombie-management are:

    1) Cardio cardio cardio.

    2) Double tap. Always shoot em in the head again when they’re down.

    3) Scout out your toilet choice – you don’t want to get caught out.


    How can a bank generate value??

    They don’t _make_ anything.


  2. @Matt: Sorry, misspoke. I should have said “vaporise” rather than “kill”.

    @Brent: Exactly! Banks are middlemen whose main value is in deciding who’s trustworthy or not in the markets and directing speculative investment there, whether it’s brokering stock portfolios or giving out loans.

    The same people who campaign for small government should also be campaigning for small banks, for many of the same reasons.

    And technology gives an opportunity to shrink the size of banks for the same reason it gives an opportunity to shrink the size of government.


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