Header graphic for print
The Corporate Observer A Publication by Attorneys Devoted to Protecting Consumer Rights

Tag Archives: Citigroup

Bankers and Politicians Disapprove of Dodd-Frank, but Is There Really an Alternative?

Posted in Banks and Financial Services

Following recent lawsuits, court decisions, and presidential debates, more Americans than ever are becoming familiar with the Dodd-Frank Act, which was passed in 2010 to increase the government’s ability to regulate big banks.  Many politicians and lobbyists have argued for repealing the Dodd-Frank Act, but a recent New York Times editorial poses an interesting question:… Continue Reading

Does Banking Complexity Make Your Eyes Bleed?

Posted in Banks and Financial Services

I’ve heard a lot of people describe the current state of our country’s largest financial institutions.  I frequently hear things like “too complex,” “too big,” or “in desperate need of an overhaul.”  But Sallie L. Krawcheck, former head of Bank of America’s wealth management division, gave a description yesterday that takes the cake: “It is… Continue Reading

Citigroup Complains to the SEC About Conflicts of Interest, Just Not its Own

Posted in Banks and Financial Services

It is fascinating to watch the banking and finance industry pointing fingers at each other for the botched Facebook IPO. Yesterday, attempts to shift blame and recover some losses led to some wonderful quotes from Citigroup. The New York Times’ Dealbook recently summed up Citigroup’s position: “Citigroup on Wednesday also criticized Nasdaq’s claim that its… Continue Reading

Bank Officer: “Will No One Rid Me of This Troublesome Mortgage-Backed Security?!”

Posted in Banks and Financial Services, Corporations

The decision by both the Justice Department and the SEC to close investigations into various questionable actions taken by Goldman Sachs reveals an interesting tension in our regulatory laws: between what we think is the “right” or “moral” code of conduct for the banking industry verses what is legal under existing laws and regulations.  In… Continue Reading

Too Bad the SEC Can’t Put Citigroup in Jail

Posted in Banks and Financial Services, In the Courts

I’m still trying to understand the SEC’s decision making process in deciding to charge Mr. Brian H. Stoker, former Citigroup banker, in connection with a subprime mortgage-related debacle at Citigroup. In this offering, Citigroup bet against one of its own securities, which subsequently lost most of its value and has since been described using bad… Continue Reading

Can We Stop History From Repeating Itself?

Posted in Banks and Financial Services

I came across a quote from a speech F.D. Roosevelt gave in 1936 while reading an opinion piece by Jesse Eisinger in the New York Times and was struck by how timely it seemed.  So I read FDR’s entire speech and now I think you should too.  The phrase “history repeats itself” is a phrase… Continue Reading

Person(s) of the Week: Citigroup’s Shareholders Reject Executive Compensation Plan

Posted in Banks and Financial Services, Person of the Week

“Hello, Ernesto.  This is Vikram, you know that red Ferrari 458 I ordered a few months ago?” “Yes, Mr. Pandit, but of course.  It will certainly be a great addition to the one you bought last year, and the vintage 1963 250 GTO we sold you with all those stock options you had been awarded.”… Continue Reading

Citibank to Pay $153 Million to Settle Yet Another Case of Wrongful Conduct: Thank You Sherry Hunt

Posted in Whistleblowers

We commend you Sherry Hunt. Management at CitiMortgage and possibly CitiBank put profits before ethics and the law, but you did not. You saw a crime being committed and you blew the whistle. You risked your job, and possibly a career in banking to simply do the right thing. If more people had your courage and tenacity, financial institutions would play by the rules. They would not have to be hit over the head with a 2×4 wielded by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks…” – Volcker Must Be On To Something

Posted in Banks and Financial Services

It will be okay, big guys. Investment banks will allow for the liquidity you supposedly so dearly fear losing. The market will adapt and the reduced risk in the U.S. financial system will restore confidence and integrity to the markets. The economy grew for decades under the Glass-Steagall Act. Would we really be upset to see that growth again–growth all can benefit from, not just traders?

What’s Less Than a Slap on the Wrist? FINRA’s $725,000 “Fine” of Citigroup

Posted in Banks and Financial Services

The Wall Street Journal reported today that FINRA has fined Citigroup a whopping $725,000 for failures to disclose investment-banking relationships. Instead of the window dressing we are getting from FINRA, investors deserve strict and swift action. Substantial sanctions send a message that rules are important and that the public takes regulation seriously. A $725,000 fine hardly sends that message.

Quick Links 12/1/11: The Consumer Financial Protection Board is getting rolling; Nicholas Kristoff sits down with a former Citigroup salesman; and finally, a well written piece on the wisdom of regulation

Posted in Consumer Protection

The CFPB  is taking important first steps towards its mandate of helping consumers wade the murky waters of personal finance. Click Here Proof Positive. Sixty Percent of his evaluation was focused on selling risky subprime mortgages. Read this and more in Nicholas Kristoff’s captivating interview with a banker/salesman from Citigroup who seems to have realized… Continue Reading

Citigroup Pays $285 Million for Getting Caught with its Hand in the Subprime Cookie Jar

Posted in Banks and Financial Services

The SEC’s recent settlement with Citigroup wouldn’t even brush back Alex Rodriguez, so it’s certainly not scaring the world’s fourth-biggest bank into compliance.  If the banks’ reaction to recent regulation is any indication, Citigroup will just levy more fees on its unsuspecting customers to pay off the $285 million legal tab in a few days…. Continue Reading

Robert Wilmers of M&T is America’s Best Bank Executive

Posted in Banks and Financial Services

Wilmers is a good banker with even better morals. He’s old school, valuing bankers’ reputations, which has dropped to “third worst” among the professions, according to Wilmers. Unlike most executives, Wilmers recognizes the moral hazard of major bank bailouts and the incentive to maximize risk–to the benefit of the big shots, and at the cost of Main Street.

Elizabeth Warren, Bankers and Billions: Its time for Congress to Stand Up for Home Owners

Posted in Banks and Financial Services

Far from being penalized, even slapped on the writs, big banks–specifically Bank of America, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs–are enjoying the time of their lives. They are saving tremendously to the tune of billions by refusing to service distressed properties and loans. “Walk away fellas and don’t look back.” Instead, they are using some of that money wisely to lobby Congress and it’s working.