The continuing financial saga at Citigroup continues to remain front page news. The latest moves at the bank ( Smith Barney - Morgan Stanley JV, moves to further break up the bank) all seem to be counter to the strategy Pandit has been professing for some time. As these changes move closer to reality and Pandit continues to lose supportive allies, e.g., former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin (resigning as Citi board member), the pressure on Pandit will only get greater.
Let it be said, Pandit inherited a nearly impossible situation when he came in as the new CEO but its getting far more difficult to see how he can remain in his position. More and more the U.S. government seems to be a powerful force behind the bank’s latest moves. We will just have keep watching as changes dribble out and pressure builds on Pandit. Pandit’s greatest hope and possible salvation as CEO is to become a “true believer” in the current changes and push hard for more dramatic and quick changes. He must acknowledge that the global financial supermarket that was Citi must now come to an end. Sandy Weil’s vision for Citi can no longer be valid.
To get a sense of what he might do, check out the Breakingviews.com section in today’s International Herald Tribune. I hope he can find the way to make things happen for the bank.