Citi never sleeps and never gets tired of your money. EVER.
Here's the tally so far: $25 billion in late october with the first installment of TARP, and then a sweetheart deal announced around Thanksgiving that gave Citi $20 billion in new cash plus a 91% government backstop on a toxic $309 billion portfolio. Nice folks, the taxpayers. We're suckers, actually. In return for our gift we received warrants and preferreds worth approxiamtely $27 billion. Excellent work, men and women of the US Treasury. This deal was finalized New Years Eve and here are the gory details.
Now it's getting dicey again as Citi's stock has begun showing signs of intense stress as it hovers just above $5. Their Credit Default Swaps have spiked recently and there is renewed concern about large, future losses. Readers likely don't need any lessons on Citi's problems, but here, here and hereare 3 outstanding write-ups on Citi's DTAs, deferred tax assets. The sources are Bloomberg, Option Armageddon and the FT. Be forewarned, it's not pretty, unless of course you already knew that Citi's true leverage (with worthless DTAs subtracted) is 280X Tier 1 Capital. Ouch...Double Ouch.
After reading you will likely wonder again why we are even trying to save Citi. Have we not learned anything from our experience with AIG's bottomless black hole. Tim Geithner, are you listening? Are you still unaware that the voters overwhelmingly oppose these bailouts, especially that of Citi, perhaps the most unpopular of all the behemoths? In the name of Thomas Jefferson, when sir will you and Kashkari and Paulson stop your assault on the American Taxpayer. We have had more than enough of these handouts.
Thomas Jefferson in a Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin in 1787 :
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. "