Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Morgan Stanley Will Be Citi Stake Underwriter

Published: Saturday, 27 Mar 2010 | 5:53 PM ET

By: Steve Liesman
Senior Economics Reporter

Morgan Stanley has won a hotly-contested competition among Wall Street investment banks to be the underwriter and advisor on the sale of the U.S. government’s stake in Citigroup, one of the biggest stock sales in history, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The bank will be responsible for selling the government’s 27 percent stake in the bank in what is known as a “dribble-out” process that could take the rest of the year. The plan is to sell between 8 percent and 10 percent of average daily volume each day. That will likely begin after Citi reports its next earnings on April 19.

The government received the 7.7 billion of Citi

[C 4.16 -0.02 (-0.48%) ] shares in return for billions of dollars of aid given to the bank during the financial crisis. But the government now stands to profit. With a current price of $4.31, the shares are worth around $32 billion, which would leave the government with an $8.2 billion profit. Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone sale of $36 billion of stock in 1987 would be the only larger stock offering in history.

As the advisor, Morgan Stanley [MS 29.39 -0.04 (-0.14%) ] will be required to set up a process where the government has little discretion over timing. Sources said the government aims to create regular sales that don’t attempt to time or game the market or appear to act on inside information. But sales can be halted if the share prices drops below some price.


Current DateTime: 06:38:19 30 Mar 2010
LinksList Documentid: 36067289
Cramer: When to Buy Citigroup
Treasury Planning Citi Stake Sale: Report
Video: When Is Citi a Buy?

As the amount of shares decline it’s possible that a large block of as many as a 1 billion shares could be disposed of in a managed sale or sales, sources said.

It was unclear if Morgan Stanley would be the sole underwriter on the deal. Typically a bank would choose one or more partners, especially a deal this size. Details were still being worked out this weekend, but a formal announcement could come as soon as Sunday.

The government still owns trust preferred in Citi, which it received from providing insurance for the bank’s assets. Those are valued at between $3 billion to $5 billion, but are less liquid than common shares. The government also owns 10-year warrants in Citi stock.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Treasury sale of Citigroup stock the right move?

Wall Street is buzzing about the Treasury's plan to exit its massive TARP "investment" in Citigroup (NYSE: C). Most people assume it will sell its 27 percent stake via some sort of preset trading plan that will lock the government into a schedule for selling its shares. A formal announcement is expected at some point.

What remains a little murky at this point is what Treasury's thinking is. On one hand, the time may be ripe to sell its stake. Its shares have surged in to value at around $33 billion. So the stock sale would be massive. Reuters notes the only stock offering that comes close was made by Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, which raised $36.8 billion in 1987. But that was more of a traditional IPO. This would be more of a staggered sale along 10b5-1 lines. Still, this is a massive undertaking. And bragging rights may be on the line. J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) are among those angling to be named underwriters. According to the Washington Post, Goldman Sachs has offered its services to the Treasury at almost no cost, industry officials familiar with the matter said. This recalls to some extent the IPO of Google (Google news), which banks felt they just had to be a part of somehow.

Would exiting the investment prove a wise move now? Many people are inclined to say yes. One expert told the Post, "This is just an incredibly bullish sign." The thinking is that a successful sale would validate the bailout plan that has generated so much controversy. It's unclear how much the sale would generate, but it just might represent a nice profit on the government's "investment." The Washington Post estimates the profit at $8 billion.

Another view, however, is that the Treasury is selling too soon. Several analysts think the value of the stock is heading north. And some think the government could net even more if it were to wait. One expert goes so far as to say that "the Fed and Treasury know more about the Citi balance sheet than analysts or investors, so a sale now represents a vote of "no confidence" in the bank and the credit markets."

There's no way of knowing of the stock will collapse in the near future, of course. It may be wise for the government to sell out now. A Sandler O'Neill analyst says a definitive TARP exit move by the government might spark more interest by institutions. Such a move could reduce fears that CEO Vikram Pandit (Vikram Pandit news) is merely a tool of the government. Another thing, it would end the fear that the government will dump shares at super-low prices.

You can bet Citigroup executives are hoping the sale goes through. - Jim


Read more: http://www.fiercefinance.com/story/treasury-sale-citigroup-stock-right-move/2010-03-27?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal#ixzz0jcqJ8Vhu


Thursday, March 25, 2010

BOA Takes Initiative; Going that "Extra Mile" to help Struggling Homeowners: Will $hiti Follow Suit?

Bank of America program to cut mortgage principal

March 24, 2010 — 2:51pm ET | By Jim Kim

A Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) program that will start in May will allow mortgage holders who are significantly underwater to reduce the principal on their mortgages over five years. Critics of loan modification efforts to date have been calling for such plans, especially for those stuck with negative amortization loans in which principal builds in return for lower monthly payments.

Bank of America's program, according to Reuters, offers "earned principal forgiveness" that calls for the bank to offer an interest-free forbearance of principal that the homeowner can turn into forgiven principal annually over five years, provided they stay current on their payments. Over five years, the loan value can be brought back to the home value if all goes well.

This is an interesting move, one that follows a suit that charges Bank of America has failed in its attempt to modify mortgages so far. The announcement of the new program also follows a report by the TARP watchdog that rips the home loan modification effort so far. We'll have to see how many people are able to access the plan. By the time the program really gets rolling, home values may be moving up a bit.

Click on title above to read related articles; http://www.fiercefinance.com/story/bank-america-program-cut-mortgage-principal/2010-03-24?utm_medium=nl

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Citi to taxpayers: Thanks for the bailout, now pay up

The banking giant is showing its appreciation for a $45-billion infusion from the U.S. by slapping a $60 annual fee on many credit cards.

by DAVID LAZARUS, FierceFinance
March 09, 2010

Vikram Pandit, chief executive of Citigroup Inc., thanked taxpayers the other day for coming to his company's rescue with $45 billion in bailout cash.

"Citi owes a large debt of gratitude to American taxpayers," he told lawmakers in Washington. The bailout money, Pandit said, "built a bridge over the crisis to a sound footing on the other side."

And how is Citi expressing its gratitude for that act of taxpayer generosity?

It's slapping a $60 annual fee on many credit cards that previously had no fees and telling customers that if they don't like it, tough patooties. They can pay off any outstanding balance and take their business elsewhere.

Man, if that's Citi when it's grateful, I'd hate to see the company when it's cheesed.

Bank of America Corp. unleashed its own annual fee of as much as $99 on some cardholders last month. JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co. both say they have no plans to introduce such fees, but it's probably just a matter of time.

Citi isn't saying how many of its millions of cardholders nationwide are subject to the new fee, which takes effect April 1.

But it is saying that if you still want to keep your account, and if you want to avoid the fee, you'll have to run up at least $2,400 a year in purchases using that credit card.

Samuel Wang, a Citi spokesman, said imposing the fee was "necessary given the increasing cost of doing business."

He also patted Citi on the back for "taking a very different approach than others in the industry by communicating these changes in a clear way."

Wow -- communicating clearly with customers. What will the banking industry think of next?

Lake Forest resident Betty Atwell was among those who recently received notice that one of her four Citi cards will be hit with the annual fee. It's a card she's had for more than a dozen years and one that she seldom uses.

"These days, I only use cards that have some kind of reward, such as giving cash back," Atwell, 66, told me. "This card with the new fee doesn't have any rewards."

So close down the account. Easy, right?

Not exactly.

"My concern is that my credit score will be affected if I start canceling cards with annual fees," Atwell said. "Right now it's Citi, but you just know the other banks will follow."

She's right to be concerned.

Linda Sherry, a spokeswoman for the advocacy group Consumer Action, said canceling an older card that reflects long-term creditworthiness can indeed have an impact on your credit score.

Click on title above for rest of article;


Monday, March 8, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Country-Wide Settlement Checks "On the Way;"

Click on title above for article;


$hiti Grows With Feds Help

January 14, 2010 — 2:45pm ET | By Jim Kim

We're accustomed to thinking of Citigroup in very negative terms. But there is one unit that has weathered the storms very well, and remains integral to the company's success: Its transaction processing unit.

Through September 2009, the unit accounted for 10 percent of revenue and about half of the bank's profit. Executives like to paint it as something of a technological marvel--a vast and seamless transactions network that spans the globe. More than 80 governments and about 60 central banks rely on GTS--Global Transactions Services--to manage cash, payments, transfers and the like. GTS handles about 90 percent of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's transactions in 180 countries and 90 currencies.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the importance of GTS was a factor in the three-part bailout of Citi, as executives argued that the bank couldn't fail because of the significance of its transactions network to the global financial system. According to the Wall Street Journal, through the bailout process, the unit has continued to seek and win government contracts, subtly using the fact that the government owned at one point a large equity stake to suggest that customers ought to support it.

Click on title above for original article entiteld "Citi Grows With Feds Help,"

Related Articles:
Weill looks at the ash heap of Citigroup
The fate of Citi as a consumer giant?
More on Citi's mobile strategy

Source; http://www.fiercefinanceit.com/news/taggedfeed/financeit_Citigroup/31830

Bank of America glass half-full?

Click on title above for article;


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to Stop Foreclosure With Citimortgage

By Shelley Moore
eHow Contributing Writer

Citimortgage is a company that is willing to work with its mortgage customers to help them stay in their homes. This requires some diligence on your part, but this company does work with you to avoid foreclosure.

Difficulty: Challenging
Things You'll Need:
Income statement

Step 1
Know that Citimortgage, like other lenders, does not want to foreclose on property and will go to some lengths to avoid doing so. Foreclosing on property is expensive for the company, because the home equity and future sale price may not even cover the loan balance along with unpaid interest and legal expenses. Also, foreclosed homes tend to be more difficult to sell for a good price. Often the house is in need of repair since the owner has been so short on cash, and prospective buyers know the mortgage company basically wants to unload the property in a hurry at auction rather than be stuck with trying to sell it for months on end.

Step 2
Ask about the “Workable Solutions” package, which Citimortgage's Loss Mitigation department will automatically send if you fall behind for 60 days. The paperwork asks for the reasons you have been unable to keep up with your payment schedule and for a solution as to how you will make up the "arrearage" (missed payments). One possibility is spreading out the back payments over a certain number of future payments, or you can spread out the amount over the balance of the loan. Both these options will raise your mortgage payments, at least for awhile. You must be certain you can make these payments once you agree to them. You can also request a "forbearance," where Citimortgage suspends the payments for a short time until you are able to make them again. This is similar to the previous option, except you have a bit more breathing room to catch up financially before beginning to make payments again. Other possibilities are to have the loan modified at a lower interest rate, or to extend it for 1 year. These options are less likely to meet with approval because mortgage companies dislike modifying original loan terms. You also can ask to apply for refinancing, although Citimortgage will be hesitant to approve this if you are behind on payments.

Step 3
Return your Workable Solutions paperwork, and Citimortage will assign a Loss Mitigation representative to your case. It is very important to stay in contact with this representative and avoid calling the Collections or Foreclosure departments. Talking to agents in these departments will only result in more demands for immediate payment. Representatives tend to be swamped with Workable Solutions cases, so they may be hard to reach, especially during rough economic times. Don’t be discouraged or frightened about impending foreclosure if you have trouble actually reaching your representative on the phone. Continue to leave a message on a regular basis, perhaps every 2 weeks, and also send a letter to Citimortgage if more than 60 days pass since you sent in the paperwork. State your continued intent to become current with your payments.

Step 4
Expect approval if your request is reasonable and you have backed it up with evidence that you can make the future payments. If your request is not approved, and you have not been able to come up with the back payments, consider selling your house as quickly as possible to avoid foreclosure. If you are set on staying in your home, contact an attorney about filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. A Chapter 13 filing immediately stops the foreclosure process and allows you to spread the back payments out over the current payments for 3 years.

Tips & Warnings
Avoid being confrontational when you speak to your Citimortgage representative; keep your communication calm and personable, but firm and assertive. It is in everyone's best interests for you and the company to come to a mutually agreeable solution, and your representative will do whatever he can to make sure this happens.
Bankruptcy should be considered only as a last resort when there really are no other options available. It is a stressful and difficult episode to go through, and also has a significant long-term negative impact on your credit rating, making it tough to buy property in the future, rent a home or receive any unsecured credit.
Who Can Help Sponsored

Post a Comment

vpo149 said

Flag This Comment This comment has been flagged.
on 11/5/2009 After contacting them for help and submitting everything. You HAVE to call them EVERYDAY and pressure them to work out something. Don't just wait and expect to be contacted by them. They will NOT call you. My house was days from being auctioned off because it took them a month to do something. Then the payments they set for me were outrageously high but I had no choice due to the time. I had to end up filing a chapter 13. I wasnt happy with their services at all.

fukdbycitimort said

Flag This Comment This comment has been flagged.
on 10/17/2009 Citimortgage isn't any different than any other. They will purposely make sure that you have to make large sum payments to ensure the unlikeliness of you ever being able to make them or even catch up! They are CROOKS Just like EVERY Other Blood Sucking Greedy BANK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

omommia said

Flag This Comment This comment has been flagged.
on 5/16/2009 blah blah blah

Post a Comment

If there is a certain amount of equity in your home, the bank$ters would rather foreclose so the equity will be theirs. IF they do work with people to stay in their homes at all, it is the ones who owe much more than their properties are worth, and even then, the bank$ters arent very customer friendly....watch Michael Moores "Capitalism, a Love Affair," to see what $hitiBank thinks of us (Americans) you will also be suprized to know that banks (and other corporate employers) take out LIFE INSURANCE policies on some of their employess WITHOUT them even knowing....talk about "insider trading." Be sure and see the flick.


Subprime Slime frum Country Double-Wide Mortgage;

Click on title above to view a halarious vid frum Mortgage Meltdown Hell;


It Wasn't a Mortgage Recession After All: So Why Don't We Feel Better?

By Robert X Cringely Feb 26th 2010 @ 12:00PM
Filed Under: News

The Great Recession wasn't the result of subprime mortgage madness, according to a new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research. It was just a plain old bank panic. Yeah, but weren't bank panics supposed to be a thing of the past, thanks to the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1934?

That's the problem.

The report, by Yale economics professor Gary Gorton, says subprime mortgage securitization was a mess -- a house of cards probably doomed to fall -- but subprime by itself simply wasn't big enough to put the entire financial system at risk. That required a failure of the Renew Sale and Repurchase (REPO) market for collateralized securities that over the last 30 years had come to backstop global finance.

The problem here, of course is that hardly anyone has even heard of REPO, which manages to be an unregulated, uninsured $20 trillion business that is absolutely essential to keeping money flowing in the world. Subprime is only $1.2 trillion -- not big enough by itself to wag this dog.

According to Gorton, the entire basis of global banking changed in the 1980s, thanks to money market funds and junk bonds, which took all the profit out of being a traditional bank. So banks began securitizing loans to regain those lost profits.

The REPO market of interbank loans had always existed but it grew dramatically in the 1990s to support securitization. But since there was no deposit insurance for institutional loans measured in hundreds of millions of dollars, counterparties demanded collateral to back these overnight REPO loans that generally replaced demand deposits in the banking system.

While the subprime mortgage crisis began in January, 2007, the ensuing bank panic didn't happen until August of that year when lenders began making collateral calls and demanding haircuts (collateral fire sales at discounted prices) from borrowers that led to all the big banks being seriously under-capitalized.

The government, while well prepared to respond to a demand deposit bank panic like those of 1907 and 1933, was not only unprepared for the 2007 panic, they didn't even know there was a panic until it was well underway.

The panic meant that the value of all types of bonds declined, trillions of bank capital evaporated and the REPO market, itself, collapsed as all counter-parties lost faith in each other and the basis of the entire banking system literally disappeared.

So what does this mean? Well it explains why the banks still aren't lending money, because they don't have the means to back the loans they'd like to make, absent government intervention. It means that until the REPO market regains some steam there isn't going to be much natural progress in getting the economy to start growing again (take out the government stimulus and we're screwed). And it shows that the Fed and Treasury in the United States were no better able to protect us than you could keep your dog from running into the road and being hit by a car.

But it wasn't strictly a subprime mortgage crisis.

Why is it I don't feel better?

Click on title above for full article;