Reader Reality Testing: A Citi Hiring Rumor

Got this via e-mail from a reader who has no axe to grind. Since it comes from a single source, it qualifies as a rumor, but knowing the ways of the big end of finance, I would be loath to dismiss it.

Do any readers have any direct knowledge here? Thanks!

Also, to be clear, even if this story is true, I know of MDs at Citi in areas that produced good profits last year that still took big bonus hits.

I had a conversation with a headunter who places a lot of quantitative prop traders, mostly equity quants (stat arb, etc.). Not surprisingly, he said most of the hiring he was seeing was by hedge funds, not much by banks. What is surprising is what he cited as the one exception: Citi. He’s seen them aggressively paying large guarantees. He was asking me WTF, why are they doing that? (Not that he was complaining of course, good for business, but he was trying to understand.) To me, it seems like classic variance-seeking behavior. The shareholders are long an option on an insolvent enterprise that is being propped up, so they’re going for broke. Yet another argument for recognizing reality and nationalizing the thing of course.

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  1. Anonymous

    I’m someone who should know (at least about my part of the ibank) and, therefore, have to be anonymous. Your emailer is downright insane. There may be some isolated specific cases (it is a very big place) but in the main, the Morgan Stanley guys running Citi have been cutting bonuses and their large recipients extremely aggressively, as they should. It is the market we operate in. The job market does not require a guarantee to make a good hire, where one is calledfor.

  2. MrM

    FWIW – I know a few people who recently joined C from much more stable banks. Guaranteed comp has to be part of the deal. However, these folks are not traders or i-bankers – back-office, middle-office, finance type of roles

  3. Anonymous

    11:17, hey don’t let your jealousy get ahead of you. The type of guys (supposedly) being hired are very specific, and I don’t think any one bank could hire that many. 10?

    The issue is that anyone is getting big #s for prop trading (gambling for the house) while on govvie life support.

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Now that Citi has reported a profit, thanks to zero percent loans from the Fed, perhaps the serfs on the manor might, just might, not have to starve to death.

    It’s part of their seigneurial rights, just like it’s a lrod’s privilege to have the first taste of the manor’s virgins before the peasants.

  5. Anonymous

    Prison is too good for the immoral bastards that promulgated this fiscal irresponsibility and continue to profit from it.

    It is going to become a very small world for these folks to hide in fairly soon. Everyone on the planet (excluding the rich) will despise them for their perfidy.

  6. john bougearel

    Met with a bankruptcy lawyer yesterday at the post office, mailing out copies of my book to RWK and such. In passing conversation, point blank, he told me, given the bankruptcy laws in the US, that anyone that can should “go for broke” in whatever endeavor they choose to undertake.

    I did not have time to expound on that topic or others just as fascinating.

  7. john bougearel


    Chase offered me $100 (of presumably taxpayer money) to open an account with them today.

    So, Yves, where did that $100 come from? Am I mistaken to believe it came from somewhere other than my neighboring taxpayer?

  8. Anonymous

    Go to the PRIMIA event at Bloomberg on Monday, 03/23 at 5 pm . It costs nothing and the talk over drinks will be most interesting. The topic “Post Armageddon Risk Analysis.”

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