Posted by: Lauren Young on September 15, 2008
Here’s an item from associate editor Mara Derhovanesian
In a move to bolster morale and head off negative sentiment in the markets, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit shot off an email with words of assurance to some 300,000 of Citi’s employees worldwide. Pandit, who was involved in top-level meetings over the weekend with regulators and rival bank heads, distributed the missive to assure the company’s workers of the bank’s stability during unprecedented turmoil on Wall Street as two financial behemoths—Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers—saw their long histories come to a rapid end.
As you know, we are experiencing turbulent times in the financial markets. Given Citi’s role as a counterparty and clearing agent in many markets, we have been deeply involved in a widespread industry effort to ensure an orderly transition. There is a separate press release signed by the CEOs of leading institutions, including Citi, that details the creation of a pool of funding available to help facilitate the
Our people have shown tremendous professionalism, focus, and insight in this process. Over the last year, and in this immediately unfolding chapter of the credit crisis, we at Citi have meaningfully contributed to efforts to maintain confidence in global financial markets. We can all be proud to represent Citi, an extraordinary institution, which has and will continue to play a critical role in global financial markets.
I strongly encourage you to listen to an update from Jamie Forese and Gary Crittenden on what we have seen over the last few days in the capital markets and our pivotal role. That recording is available at:
You will take away from that call at least one thing: over the last year, Citi has managed critical priorities well - our capital and liquidity positions are strong, and we have tremendous capacity to make commitments to our clients.
It is important that we maintain our unrelenting focus on the needs and concerns of our clients and shareholders. They will want our views on the ongoing market dislocation. Please assure them of the entire industry’s commitment to work together through this transition. We are confident about the future despite a very challenging time. Indeed, an enduring hallmark of Citi is its ability to support clients during the tough times, and we are confident we will live up to that legacy in the days, weeks, and years ahead.
Let me remind you, and in turn, you can remind our clients and
* Some nine months ago, we acted quickly to strengthen Citi’s
balance sheet and established a very strong capital base for Citi’s present and future. We raised $50 billion in the capital markets since November.
* As of the 2nd quarter 2008 earnings release, our Tier 1 capital
ratio stood at 8.7%, which is well in excess of the “well-capitalized”
regulatory minimums. With continued deleveraging through the sale of our German retail franchise, which closes in the 4th quarter, we expect to add another 60 basis points to our Tier 1 ratio.
* Our financial strength makes us a favored counterparty.
* Our balance sheet was in excess of two trillion dollars and our
Stockholders’ Equity at the end of the second quarter stood at $136.6 billion. The company’s cash position is very strong.
* Citigroup continues to boast a strong deposit base that is
diversified across products and regions. This diversification, including deep access to international deposits, provides us with an important stable and low-cost source of funding.
Finally, it is clear our industry is in a state of change, but I am confident that this should be an opportunity for Citi, as it has been in our past. I would like to thank all of you for your hard work and dedication. Citi never sleeps.