Friday, November 21, 2008

Citigroup Looks Like it is toast

Citigroup apparently is loved by a Saudi Prince and no other. The market cap of this once great institution is now below the 25 billion that it received from Hank. While I did not predict what would later happen to Lehman, Fannie, Freddie  and the others at the beginning of this year,  I did see enough early on to know that I did not even want to take a nibble.  The price action in Citi indicates a company in dire distress.  Shortly before 2 this afternoon, it had already traded over 775 million shares and is currently down over 31% to 3.23.  Banking is a confidence game and the gig is up.  There is no confidence left, and certainly no love for Citi.  I supposed the more adventuresome individual may go into the market near the close and buy 50 shares of Citigroup, yelling at the top of your lungs I am a master of the universe and a little crazy too.   It may work but I would have to say that Citigroup is giving off all the signals of a bank on the ropes with a Priest on the way to give it last rites.  I would also think that if everyone just shut their eyes and kept saying over and over again there is a Santa Claus, this will all just go away.  Citi may have enough capital to survive or it may not, who really knows?    I certainly have no idea about how bad Citi's plight really is but I do remember Bear Stearn's saying it had a book value of $60 per share before it had next to nothing and the regulator of Fannie & Freddie  saying they had enough capital shortly before they were seized by the government.  

If this continues, S & P is on track for its worst year ever.  204 members of the S & P 500 are less than 4 billion in capitalization which is the minimum level for inclusion in the index.   Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance

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