Category Archives: Citigroup

>NJPP – Special budget update: Take two

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You might have seen media coverage of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in New Jersey the other day. He talked to reporters in the hot sun on the steps of Citigroup building in Jersey City about the need to invest in schools, cities and people – not throw tax breaks at financial institutions which are just hoarding capital in this lousy economy.

I was struck standing there with him not just by how important it was to have someone of Jackson’s stature here in New Jersey delivering a message about help for working people, but how great it was that he was delivering the Better Choices budget coalition message.

You see, sometimes, the work we do at NJPP that matters most is behind the scenes – work we get the opportunity to do because years of credible research and strategic messaging have put us in a position to influence events.

This week is a great example.

Before Reverend Jackson went before the media I briefed him at the request of our coalition partners on a paper analyst Sarah Stecker and I wrote that identified $1 billion in tax subsidies that the state has awarded to corporations the past 16 months. That work is at the core of the Better Choices push for investment in services that lift up all New Jerseyans rather than providing tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy.

Jackson is an icon of the civil rights era and one of the strongest voices fighting poverty in America. He was in New Jersey for a series of labor rallies, as well as news conference on behalf of Better Choices to talk about the surge in corporate taxpayer subsidies here in New Jersey. At our table in the Westin Newport, I outlined our research that showed 70 major corporations have been awarded a total of more than $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies on the promise to create jobs.

Citigroup is a prime example. The bank received $87 million in subsidies since 2004. The expectation was that the financial giant would justify the subsidy by hiring 3,750 people. (Citi is still 1,000 jobs shy, by its own count). The latest Citigroup subsidy was approved in March – $12.3 million to bring 400 jobs from New York State to Jersey City. Three weeks after it was awarded the subsidy, Citigroup announced it was laying off nearly 300 workers at one of its New Jersey sites. Not a very good deal for New Jersey taxpayers, as it turned out.

Jackson, over a bowl of Raisin Bran, grinned and turned the analysis into a newsworthy sound-bite: “They got the money, we didn’t get the jobs. … We should be investing in people, not corporations.”

I was delighted to play my small role in Jackson’s visit to New Jersey. And even if I can’t resist the temptation to do a little name-dropping, more importantly I hope sharing this anecdote helps illustrate to you the important work we do here at New Jersey Policy Perspective.

More to come…

Deborah Howlett, President

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Filed under Citigroup, civil-rights movement, corporate tax breaks, Debrorah Howlett, New Jersey, New Jersey Policy Perspective, NJ State Budget, Rev. Jesse Jackson, update

Bailed-Out Citi Bank Goes on Toll Road Buying Binge

Can you believe this? After securing over $326 billion in bailout money and  debt guarantees, Citigroup just purchased a debt burdened Spanish toll road for $10 billion! 

I say if Citigroup has an extra $10 billion laying around then why not give it back to the american taxpayers that just bailed their asses out. 
From Moneynews.com

” Debt-laden Spanish construction company Sacyr Vallehermoso said Monday it has agreed to sell its highway-operating unit, Itinere, to a Citigroup Inc. fund in a deal valued at nearly euro7.9 billion ($10 billion).

The sale involves euro2.87 billion in cash and euro5 billion in assumed debt, the company said.

Sacyr Vallehermoso has been hard hit by the collapse of Spain’s real estate bubble and is eager to ease its debt load.

The sale of Itinere to Citi Infrastructure Partners, which needs regulatory approval, will reduce the Spanish builder’s debt to about euro12.5 billion, the latter said in a filing with Spanish stock market regulators.

If this deal goes through, Sacyr Vallehermoso will have cut its debt by 37 percent since Jan. 1, it said.

Much of its debt stems from its acquisition two years ago of a 20 percent stake in Spanish oil company Repsol-YPF.

In September, Sacyr Vallehermoso put that stake up for sale and the Russian oil company Lukoil recently expressed interest in acquiring it.

The money Sacyr Vallehermoso would take in from the Citigroup deal is expected to reduce pressure to sell its stake in Repsol-YPF.

Citi Infrastructure Partners will offer to buy all of Itinere’s stock at euro3.96 ($5.04) a share, the Spanish firm said.

The Spanish construction company will first sell Citigroup a 42.8 percent stake in Itinere, and once this is complete, another 11.6 percent stake, Sacyr Vallehermoso said.

After the acquisition, Citi Infrastructure Partners will resell some Itinere highways in Spain and Chile to Spanish infrastructure company Abertis for 621 million euros ($790 million), Sacyr Vallehermoso said.”

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Filed under bailout, Citigroup, debt burdened, Financial crisis, moneynews.com, Sacyr Vallehermoso, toll road purchase

>Bailed-Out Citi Bank Goes on Toll Road Buying Binge

>Can you believe this? After securing over $326 billion in bailout money and  debt guarantees, Citigroup just purchased a debt burdened Spanish toll road for $10 billion! 

I say if Citigroup has an extra $10 billion laying around then why not give it back to the american taxpayers that just bailed their asses out. 
From Moneynews.com

” Debt-laden Spanish construction company Sacyr Vallehermoso said Monday it has agreed to sell its highway-operating unit, Itinere, to a Citigroup Inc. fund in a deal valued at nearly euro7.9 billion ($10 billion).

The sale involves euro2.87 billion in cash and euro5 billion in assumed debt, the company said.

Sacyr Vallehermoso has been hard hit by the collapse of Spain’s real estate bubble and is eager to ease its debt load.

The sale of Itinere to Citi Infrastructure Partners, which needs regulatory approval, will reduce the Spanish builder’s debt to about euro12.5 billion, the latter said in a filing with Spanish stock market regulators.

If this deal goes through, Sacyr Vallehermoso will have cut its debt by 37 percent since Jan. 1, it said.

Much of its debt stems from its acquisition two years ago of a 20 percent stake in Spanish oil company Repsol-YPF.

In September, Sacyr Vallehermoso put that stake up for sale and the Russian oil company Lukoil recently expressed interest in acquiring it.

The money Sacyr Vallehermoso would take in from the Citigroup deal is expected to reduce pressure to sell its stake in Repsol-YPF.

Citi Infrastructure Partners will offer to buy all of Itinere’s stock at euro3.96 ($5.04) a share, the Spanish firm said.

The Spanish construction company will first sell Citigroup a 42.8 percent stake in Itinere, and once this is complete, another 11.6 percent stake, Sacyr Vallehermoso said.

After the acquisition, Citi Infrastructure Partners will resell some Itinere highways in Spain and Chile to Spanish infrastructure company Abertis for 621 million euros ($790 million), Sacyr Vallehermoso said.”

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Filed under bailout, Citigroup, debt burdened, Financial crisis, moneynews.com, Sacyr Vallehermoso, toll road purchase

Treasury may have to request funds from Congress

The Hill, Leading the News-

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is close to running out of money and soon may have to ask Congress for access to the rest of the $700 billion package it approved for rescuing the economy.

Paulson has said that he intends to leave the second $350 billion of the package for President-elect Barack Obama’s administration, but the government’s moves in just the last two days leave Paulson with only about $20 billion in funds for the nearly two months remaining until Obama’s inauguration.

The continuing market volatility and tough credit markets could force Paulson to seek access to the funds, particularly as the government continues to unveil new programs to prop up the economy.
On Tuesday, Paulson did not rule out requesting access to the remaining funds.

“When the time is right, we’ll avail ourselves of the congressional process,” Paulson said during a press conference.

Treasury has the authority to spend $350 billion of the $700 billion Congress authorized in October under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP. The government has committed about $330 billion so far, leaving it with about $20 billion before it would have to make its request to Congress.

Paulson must submit to Congress a plan on how Treasury would use the money in order to access the final $350 billion. Lawmakers could choose to restrict how Treasury can use the money.

Two new efforts that the government announced this week have pushed Paulson closer to having to make a request.

One day after putting together $20 billion in aid for Citigroup, Treasury announced it would provide $20 billion to the Federal Reserve for credit protection as part of the two new programs to prop up the home mortgage and consumer credit markets.

The Federal Reserve offered assurances Sunday on $306 billion in troubled assets for Citigroup as part of the effort to save the firm, which was seen as being on the verge of collapse.

The government has set up a new $200 billion program aimed at unfreezing lending in the consumer credit markets for student loans, car loans and other asset-backed securities. Paulson also suggested that the program could be expanded to additional types of assets, such as commercial mortgage-backed securities and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities.

“That $200 billion is a starting point. This is — it’s going to take a while to get this program up and going. And — and then it can be expanded and increased over time,” Paulson said.

The Federal Reserve set up a program on Tuesday that could support up to $600 billion in debt issued by or backed by the hobbled government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “Nothing is more important to getting through this housing correction than the availability of affordable mortgage finance,” Paulson said.

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Filed under bailout, Barack Obama, Citigroup, Congress, Financial crisis, Henry Paulson, leading the news, TARP, The Hill

>Treasury may have to request funds from Congress

>The Hill, Leading the News-

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is close to running out of money and soon may have to ask Congress for access to the rest of the $700 billion package it approved for rescuing the economy.

Paulson has said that he intends to leave the second $350 billion of the package for President-elect Barack Obama’s administration, but the government’s moves in just the last two days leave Paulson with only about $20 billion in funds for the nearly two months remaining until Obama’s inauguration.

The continuing market volatility and tough credit markets could force Paulson to seek access to the funds, particularly as the government continues to unveil new programs to prop up the economy.
On Tuesday, Paulson did not rule out requesting access to the remaining funds.

“When the time is right, we’ll avail ourselves of the congressional process,” Paulson said during a press conference.

Treasury has the authority to spend $350 billion of the $700 billion Congress authorized in October under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP. The government has committed about $330 billion so far, leaving it with about $20 billion before it would have to make its request to Congress.

Paulson must submit to Congress a plan on how Treasury would use the money in order to access the final $350 billion. Lawmakers could choose to restrict how Treasury can use the money.

Two new efforts that the government announced this week have pushed Paulson closer to having to make a request.

One day after putting together $20 billion in aid for Citigroup, Treasury announced it would provide $20 billion to the Federal Reserve for credit protection as part of the two new programs to prop up the home mortgage and consumer credit markets.

The Federal Reserve offered assurances Sunday on $306 billion in troubled assets for Citigroup as part of the effort to save the firm, which was seen as being on the verge of collapse.

The government has set up a new $200 billion program aimed at unfreezing lending in the consumer credit markets for student loans, car loans and other asset-backed securities. Paulson also suggested that the program could be expanded to additional types of assets, such as commercial mortgage-backed securities and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities.

“That $200 billion is a starting point. This is — it’s going to take a while to get this program up and going. And — and then it can be expanded and increased over time,” Paulson said.

The Federal Reserve set up a program on Tuesday that could support up to $600 billion in debt issued by or backed by the hobbled government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “Nothing is more important to getting through this housing correction than the availability of affordable mortgage finance,” Paulson said.

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Filed under bailout, Barack Obama, Citigroup, Congress, Financial crisis, Henry Paulson, leading the news, TARP, The Hill

Citigroup’s Spending Indefensible and Unacceptable (Rep. Elijah Cummings)


From the Hill’s Congressional Blog-

After reading yesterday morning that Citigroup–which has already received $25 billion in bailout money–is adamant in maintaining its $400 million naming rights to the new New York Mets stadium, I was shocked to learn that the company came to the federal government asking for an additional multi-billion dollar lifeline. Surely, if the company has the funds to paste its name to a recreational facility, it has the money to maintain its operations and keep the 52,000 jobs it announced last week it would be eliminating.

While I understand that Citi is under a contractual obligation with the Mets, I cannot understand why the organization seems to be refusing at the very least to explore options out of that contract. This type of spending is indefensible and unacceptable to Citigroup’s new partner and largest investor: the American taxpayer. My constituents in Maryland did not turn over their hard-earned wages to fund a baseball stadium in New York.

One would think that the Mets would be open to finding a new sponsor, as well. Why would any team want its new stadium, the symbol of a new era of victories, to be named after and symbolized by a company claiming to be on the brink of collapse?

I strongly urge Citigroup to find a way out of this contract and instead spend that $400 million on retaining its employees and restoring confidence in its operations. Furthermore, I encourage Citigroup and every other corporation depending on taxpayer dollars to stop the reckless spending, and I again insist that Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke start holding these companies accountable. We cannot continue to pour taxpayer dollars into buckets with holes.

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Filed under bailout, Ben Bernanke, Citi Field, Citigroup, Henry Paulson, NY Mets, Rep. Elijah Cummings, taxpayers

Citigroup’s Spending Indefensible and Unacceptable (Rep. Elijah Cummings)


From the Hill’s Congressional Blog-

After reading yesterday morning that Citigroup–which has already received $25 billion in bailout money–is adamant in maintaining its $400 million naming rights to the new New York Mets stadium, I was shocked to learn that the company came to the federal government asking for an additional multi-billion dollar lifeline. Surely, if the company has the funds to paste its name to a recreational facility, it has the money to maintain its operations and keep the 52,000 jobs it announced last week it would be eliminating.

While I understand that Citi is under a contractual obligation with the Mets, I cannot understand why the organization seems to be refusing at the very least to explore options out of that contract. This type of spending is indefensible and unacceptable to Citigroup’s new partner and largest investor: the American taxpayer. My constituents in Maryland did not turn over their hard-earned wages to fund a baseball stadium in New York.

One would think that the Mets would be open to finding a new sponsor, as well. Why would any team want its new stadium, the symbol of a new era of victories, to be named after and symbolized by a company claiming to be on the brink of collapse?

I strongly urge Citigroup to find a way out of this contract and instead spend that $400 million on retaining its employees and restoring confidence in its operations. Furthermore, I encourage Citigroup and every other corporation depending on taxpayer dollars to stop the reckless spending, and I again insist that Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke start holding these companies accountable. We cannot continue to pour taxpayer dollars into buckets with holes.

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Filed under bailout, Ben Bernanke, Citi Field, Citigroup, Henry Paulson, NY Mets, Rep. Elijah Cummings, taxpayers