Wednesday, January 16, 2008

bad economic news

citigroup logos
Citigroup, the nation’s largest bank, reported a staggering fourth-quarter loss of $9.83 billion on Tuesday and issued a sobering forecast that the housing market and the broader economy still had not bottomed out.
i'm sorry, did the nytimes say 9.83 billion dollars? in a single quarter? this does not bode well, friends, not at all. this morning's story continues:
More bad news is coming, with Merrill Lynch expected to report sizable losses this week and major financial institutions like Bank of America retreating from their investment banking business.[...] "It looks like the financial sector as a whole will see a big decline in profits, and the only time this happened in the last 100 years — financial firms’ going from making good profits to negative profits — was the Depression in the 1930s," said Richard Sylla, a professor of financial history at New York University.
lest this all seem to abstract, let's not forget the folks who are immediately losing or have recently lost their jobs with citi: "the bank said it would also lay off another 4,000 workers, on top of announced reductions of 17,000 employees."

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