Friday, January 30, 2009

Laugh for the day

James J. Cramer
Citigroup's Weill Is Worth Every Cent
By James J. Cramer
RealMoney Columnist
3/17/2004 4:03 PM EST

Sandy Weill's not overpaid. There. When I think that he took Citigroup (C:NYSE) to where it is, far and away the largest bank in the world -- one that J.P. Morgan (JPM:NYSE) and Bank One (BAC:NYSE) , when they combine, still won't be able to touch; one that could buy Deutsche Bank (DB:NYSE) and it wouldn't even be important -- I laugh at the polls that question whether Weill was overpaid. I disagree that there is a "controversy" here. He's worth every penny.

My beef with execs isn't that they pay themselves excessively; it is that they pay themselves excessively regardless of whether they do well or not. Disney's (DIS:NYSE) Michael Eisner pays himself exorbitantly given how little shareholders have to show for it. Weill? Go read Monica Langley's book, Tearing Down the Walls . This guy built a company from scratch and then took it to where it could go buy Citibank. He created this institution. He's not some steward -- again, like Eisner -- he's the inventor.

Weill to End Citi Consulting Job, Giving Up Millions
By Bradley Keoun

Jan. 29 [,2009] (Bloomberg) -- Former Citigroup Inc. Chairman Sanford “Sandy” Weill will end a 10-year consulting contract with the bank that gave him millions of dollars in perks, including an office, car and driver and the use of company jets.

Weill, who retired as chairman and started the consulting job less than three years ago, told Citigroup in August 2008 that he wanted to terminate the arrangement, Shannon Bell, a spokeswoman for the New York-based bank, said today. He and the company “mutually agreed to stop” the benefits, starting in April, Bell said. Weill didn’t return a call to his Citigroup office.

Weill, 75, is distancing himself from the financial colossus he built over 17 years as Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, 52, begins dismantling it following a last year’s record $18.7 billion loss. Two weeks ago, Pandit marked the bank’s CitiFinancial consumer-finance and Primerica insurance units as “non-core” and said they would eventually be sold.

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