Thanks for nothing,
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson gives the U.S. bank $45 billion in taxpayer money to keep it afloat and get it to pump some money into the emaciated U.S. lending system and what does Citi do?
Buy a Spanish highway operator.
Yes, you heard right. A Citigroup infrastructure fund agreed to take over Spain's
from Sacyr Vallehermoso in a deal valued at about $10 billion, which includes about $6.3 billion in debt that Citi will take on.
Just what Citi needs: more debt.
Of course, Citi officials will tell us this is good debt, unlike the $306 billion in risky assets U.S. regulators agreed to backstop last week as part of a $20 billion taxpayer-funded cash injection to shore up the bank. That's on top of the $25 billion in federal bailout money Citi received earlier this year.
U.S. taxpayers are definitely getting a great return on that investment.
I'll bet Paulson just can't wait to hand over another $10 billion to Citi when the bank complains that the global recession is eating into the tolls it thought it would be collecting in Spain.