Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, or something. Somehow – more by luck than judgment, I'm sure – I managed to call this one pretty well.
If Citi (C) can carve off some large chunks of its SIVs, it might be able to reduce the rump vehicles to something digestible – at which point Citi's brand-new CEO can take them onto the bank's balance sheet as part of his fresh new strategy or somesuch. But there's still a fair amount of pruning to go before that happens: I don't think Citi can really afford to take anything like $66 billion of SIV assets onto its balance sheet right now.
Citigroup Inc., badly bruised by mounting losses, is bailing out seven affiliated investment entities, bringing $49 billion in assets onto its balance sheet and further denting its capital base.
The bank said it would provide emergency support to the entities, known as structured investment vehicles, if it can't find buyers for their short-term notes...
Yesterday's move underscores how quickly Vikram Pandit, who was named Citigroup's chief executive Tuesday, is moving to tackle the myriad problems facing the bank.
So Citi's managed to further prune its SIVs from $66 billion to $49 billion in the past few days, and is presumably actively seeking to cut them even more if it can, maybe by dint of taking advantage of the underwhelming MLEC.
How's Citi going to pay for this? Well, that's the call I made Wednesday – by cutting its dividend, of course. But what are the chances of me being right twice in two days?