Why Citi (C) Can’t Fire Chuck Prince

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Citigroup CEO-for-life Chuck Prince engineered another major reorganization of his senior management group. This time the reason was all of the mortgage and fixed income losses the bank had. The ones that hurt Q3 numbers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Citi "will merge its investment-banking operations and its alternative-investments businesses." The big banks head of trading and one of its fixed income bosses are out. Vikram Pandit, a former Morgan Stanley (MS) big is in.

The financial paper goes on to point out that "word of the poor Q3 results prompted a fresh round of calls for Mr. Prince’s departure from some investors and analysts, who say that the behemoth bank should be performing better."

Well, that is fine until investors look at the Citi stock performance. Down about 3% over the last year, it matches the stock losses of Bank of America (BAC) and JP Morgan (JPM) almost exactly.

Prince has a simple argument for his board. He is a victim of his times. He has done no better or worse than he peers.

Mediocrity wins once again.

Douglas A. McIntyre