Citigroup share price, details of Bowen testimony included in this update.
NEW YORK (
shares were largely unfazed Wednesday as the bank found itself in the crosshairs over the financial crisis once again.
Charles "Chuck" Prince, former Citigroup CEO
Over the next three days, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is expected to hear testimony from several former Citigroup executives including ex-CEO and Chairman Chuck Prince, and Robert Rubin, a former senior advisor and Chairman of the board's Executive Committee, among others, as part of its latest public hearing "Subprime Lending and Securitization and Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs)." The FCIC was formed to do a post-mortem on the causes of the meltdown.
Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan appeared solo in Wednesday's first session, while Richard Bowen, a former senior vice president with CitiMortgage, and Susan Millls, managing director of mortgage finance at Citi Markets and Banking, are slated to participate in the second session as part of a four-person slate discussing the origination and subordination of subprime loans.
A third session on Wednesday will include four former Citigroup executives, including David Bushnell, its ex-Chief Risk Officer, and and Tom Maheras, the former co-CEO of Citi Markets & Banking, answering Citi-specific questions related to subprime and risk management.
The biggest day for Citigroup, however, is likely to be tomorrow's first session when Prince and Rubin will appear to be grilled about the actions of the company's senior management.
During Wednesday's testimony, Richard Bowen, Citigroup's former chief underwriter for CitiMortgage, told the FCIC panel that he had warned management and Rubin of the company's mortgage risk beginning in 2006, according to the
Bowen apparently discovered that in the middle of 2006 more than 60% of the mortgages being bought and sold by the subprime-focused unit were defective, according to the
The revelation did little to slow the stock as it was up a dime, or 2.2%, to $4.39 in afternoon action, a seeming indication that Wall Street remains focused on where the company is going, rather than where it's been. Volume was brisk with 391 million shares already changing hands. The issue's trailing three-month daily average churn is 497 million.
promises to be a spectacular showing of Congressional leaders and other so-called special investigators posing questions they should have asked long before the crisis hit, editor-in-chief Glenn Hall suggests in his latest opinion piece.
Several other industry executives are set to testify on Friday in front of the Commission including
( FNM) former CEO Daniel Mudd along with two ex-directors of the Office of the Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.
Citigroup became the poster child for the financial crisis after writedowns on soured subprime securities, bad mortgages and delinquent credit card loans forced the company to receive two bailouts from the government totaling $45 billion. The Treasury Department still owns 7.7 billion shares, or roughly 27%, of Citigroup. Citigroup has since been working to downsize its once lauded financial supermarket business model by shedding unnecessary assets and focusing continuing businesses more efficiently.
Things have brightened up for Citigroup of late, however, with its most recent success being a
unit last week. The shares are up more than $1 since the beginning of the year, almost 30%, with the majority of that move coming in March as the company began to show some palpable progress in its turnaround efforts, and the Treasury prepares to exit its massive stake.
The company is scheduled to report its first-quarter results on April 19, and hold its annual shareholder meeting the next day. The average estimate of analysts polled by
is for a slight loss, breaking even on per share basis, with revenue of $20.8 billion.
--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.