Friday, 8 February 2013

Robert Rubin's contribution to Citigroup

Tracking risk appetite across bipolar asset markets

SUNDAY AUGUST 25, 2013       15:54:00 GMT

Robert Rubin, former US Treasury Secretary and senior advisor to Citigroup is reported to have collected more than $120 million in compensation from the bank during his tenure - a period which also saw the bank receiving a $45 billion bailout during the 2008 financial crisis. When asked in an interview as reported in the American banker whether he felt any responsibility for what had happened to the bank his comments were:

"I was worried about excesses before the crisis began. But what I didn’t see and virtually nobody saw … was the possibility of a serious crisis. It turned out to be the worst crisis in about 80 years. I wish I had seen it," he said. "I regret not having seen it, and I would suspect or would guess that there are very large numbers, vast numbers of other people who have the same view, that is to say, who also regret not having seen it."
By way of context a glance at the following two charts of Citigroup’s stock performance over the last couple of decades should speak for themselves. The charts take in the period before Glass Steagall was rescinded in 1999 - a decision on which Mr Rubin was one of the prime advocates - and the subsequent years when Citigroup expanded rapidly as a financial supermarket, and became the definitive example of a bank which was too big to understand and/or manage.

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