Remember when Citi was

looking for deals

and ready to buy

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

?

How about Citi shares at $23 last month? Or $35 a year ago. Or even $55 in May 2007?

Now Citi's the latest

bailout story

, with the U.S. government donating $20 billion to the cause. That's on top of the $25 billion in taxpayer funds Citi received last month.

So why doesn't the government own all of Citi now? For $45 billion, it should -- the bank was only worth about $20 billion at Friday's closing share price of $3.77. (For what it's worth, Wachovia's trading above $4.)

It makes the Feds look foolish to have allowed

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

to scuttle the government-brokered marriage of Citi and Wachovia last month. That dowry would have been cheaper. But then again, maybe the government would be bailing out Wells Fargo now. I guess it's money out the window either way.

I just feel bad for the folks at Lehman Brothers, the bank that died before our government decided not to let any more big banks die.