NEW YORK — It’s been a bad week for Citigroup: First it was hit with a $7 billion settlement with the Department of Justice, the largest civil fraud penalty in American history, and now the banking and financial services provider is unable to find a bank willing to loan them the needed money.
Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat issued an impassioned plea Thursday. “We just need a quick $7 billion to tide us over and get the DOJ off our backs—maybe another billion just to hold us over for the rest of the quarter.”
“C’mon, now, you know us. It’s Citibank, baby. When have we ever failed to get you back?” Corbat added, referring to the $25 billion in TARP money back in 2008. “We paid it all back!”
The settlement with the DOJ stems from Citigroup’s securitization and sale of high-risk subprime mortgages, knowingly misrepresenting their quality and risk, and ultimately contributing to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
“Look, we’d love to help, really,” said JPMorgan Chase CEO James Dimon told reporters when asked why his bank refused to help Citigroup. “But we’re still hurting from the $13 billion we had to pay out last year to the government.Times are tight everywhere.”
“Eric Holder is crawling up my ass with a flashlight looking for a $20 billion settlement,” Bank of America President and CEO Brian Moynihan candidly said to reporters earlier this week. “You think I got $7 billion to help you cover your shit? I think not.”
Despite his colleagues’ refusal to help, Corbat remains resolute.
“I’m still waiting to hear back from HSBC,” he confided. “They had a pretty bad quarter, though, so I’m not crossing my fingers. Maybe if we tell them we’re terrorists or a drug cartel they’ll help us out.”