Monday, March 23, 2009

Wiener of the Week

This was a tough week for choosing a WotW. So many candidates! But in the end, I had to go with The Gang that Couldn't Think Straight.

What is with these banks? Have they lost their everloving minds? Just days after AIG gets splattered all over the news, these two gems come out.

Citi wants to "save money" by redecorating.

Citigroup is going through with more than $3 million worth of construction at its corporate headquarters in Manhattan.

The bank says the renovation will save $20 million in the long run. Top executives currently working on two floors will be consolidated in "smaller, simpler offices on a single floor," Citigroup said.

But the office makeover at the bank's Park Avenue address comes at a tricky time for the company, which is operating with $45 billion in federal funding after recording five straight quarters of losses. The bank's use of taxpayer dollars has been under close watch.
Gee, d'ya think?

Bank of America "bails out" Hollywood.
"Why Bank of America?," Greenfield asks in a report posted this morning. "We have not seen any formal announcement about the Bank of America/[DWA] promotion beyond an increasing number of consumers discussing the promotion link on Twitter. However, we find it odd that a bank that just received $45 bn [billion] in government aid is paying for consumers across the US to see a movie in 3-D vs. 2-D at no extra cost. We also wonder whether the presence of DWA’s President, Lew Coleman, helped DWA convince Bank of America to enter into the promotion, as Coleman is a former Vice Chairman and CFO of Bank of America."
I need to make something clear before continuing. I don't care if Citi wants to redecorate as part of office consolidation and downsizing. And I don't care if BofA wants to get involved in movie promotions. But these people have to be aware of the scrutiny their every move is receiving in the wake of the government bailouts. They are under the microscope; they need to act accordingly if they don't want to be hounded and harassed like AIG's executives have been.

Citi and BofA, for demonstrating complete tone-deafness in the wake of the AIG scandal, you're the Wiener of the Week.