Monday, 14 April 2008

Merrill and Citi writedowns this week

Merrill Lynch and Citigroup will be revealing massive writedowns this week. It could be $10 billion for Citi, and about $7 billion for Merrill. The most disturbing news is that jobs could go at both banks - as many as 25,000 at Citi.

Well, I'm friends with the chief executives at these banks: Vikram Pandit at Citigroup, and John Thain at Merrill Lynch. Having said that, John isn't talking to me at the moment. He reckons I exposed him to ridicule a little while back when I revealed that he was a Native American chief in a past life. I'm sorry, John, but that's what you told me, remember? If you don't want me telling my readers, keep such things to yourself. No one thinks badly of you anyway. A lot of people emailed me at the time and said they respected your honesty.

But let's get back to the potential job losses. I urge you both, Vik and John, to think outside the box on this one. Sacking people is not the answer. These are talented characters who will just end up working for your rivals when the credit crunch has passed - and it will pass. No, Vik. No, John. YOU NEED TO RETRAIN YOUR STAFF! Turn them into financial shamans and money mystics! And I'll even help you. Get on the fucking phone to me. Swallow your pride, for Christ's sake! And John, think about what you would have done in the old, old days when you were that Native American chief. What would you have done? You would have gone straight to the tribe's shaman, and he would have sorted things. That's all you've got to do now, John. I'm your shaman. Yes, me. I'm not just your friend. I'm the one with the power to get you out of the hole you're in. Call me.

And Vik, well, what can I say about you? Why, please tell me why - why do you want to sell the church of your love? Can't you see that's a backward step? You need more mysticism in your life right now, not less. Call me.