By Pam Martens: August 9, 2012
On July 25, 2012, Sandy Weill went on CNBC to call for breaking up the big banks. During that interview, he also stated the rationale that “simpler is better.” Could someone please bump into Sandy Weill in the street and define the word “simpler” for him.
Last year, Weill sold his 6700 square foot condo in Manhattan for $88 million. But he owned another multi-million dollar condo in the same building to move into. He owns a 362 acre estate in Sonoma County, California; a 120+ acre waterfront estate on Saranac Lake, New York; an 8500 square foot mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut and a 200’ yacht interestingly named “April Fool,” that includes a brick pizza oven.
Weill acquired all of those properties through obscene awards of Citigroup stock. He built Citigroup into a nightmarish conglomerate of incomprehensible accounting that collapsed into the hands of the taxpayer in 2008. From 2008 through 2010, Citigroup required the following to prevent a collapse of the U.S. financial system: a $25 billion injection from the taxpayer in October of 2008; another injection of $20 billion a month later; a U.S. government backed guarantee of $301 billion for its toxic assets; a cash for trash swap by the U.S. government of its 8 percent preferred stock for Citigroup’s teetering common stock in June 2009. Behind the dark curtain at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Citigroup was borrowing, in ulta low cost loans, a total of $2.513 trillion between December 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010.
This is a list of the more than 1600 subsidiaries and joint ventures amassed by the “simpler is better” Sandy Weill, which were owned by Citigroup in 2006. Over five dozen carry the words “Cayman Islands” for their location. April Fool indeed.