The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Jonathan Weil writes that it’s ridiculous for CitiGroup’s Vikram Pandit to serve as co-chairman of the World Economic Forum in his column, “Pandit Does Davos, One Percent Gloat, Madness Reigns:”

Sometimes a single fact stands out amid all the clutter, offering a flash of insight and clarity. Here is one of them: Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit is a co-chairman of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland.

At first blush, the notion might seem almost ho-hum, a non- event. Upon further consideration, this looks like it can’t possibly be right. Then it turns out, much to our amazement, that the story is accurate, confirming once again that our world is stark mad. You really have to wonder why anyone outside of Citigroup would pick Pandit to lead anything.

It’s one thing for Citigroup to blow itself up so spectacularly that it needs multiple taxpayer bailouts to stay afloat. What seems strange is that an organization like the World Economic Forum would honor the fellow who was Citigroup’s CEO throughout most of the financial crisis, by selecting him as one of its six co-chairmen. If Sheila Bair had gotten her way when she was head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Pandit would have been fired years ago.

It’s stunning when you think about it: How does Pandit, who owes much of his fortune to the American public’s largess, wind up being showcased as a paragon of leadership and free enterprise, little more than a year after the U.S. Treasury finally sold the last of its Citigroup common stock?

And what message are the rest of us are supposed to take away from this? That his example is to be celebrated?

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Youtube Screenshot

The political world is still digesting Tuesday’s referendum vote in Kansas, where voters resoundingly rejected a proposed amendment that would have removed constitutional protections for abortion rights in this Republican-dominated state. The final result was not even close, with the pro-choice side winning 59 percent of the vote in the first direct political test of abortion rights since the Republican appointees on the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade over a month ago.

The referendum received high turnout despite being scheduled during a summer primary, which typically should have favored conservatives in this red state. In fact, a large number of independent voters participated in the referendum outside of the party primaries, while NBC News elections expert Steve Kornacki has estimated that at least 20 percent of Republican voters opposed the amendment. The referendum’s defeat also occurred despite weeks of national and local media coverage that has often platformed anti-abortion advocates with little pushback.

Keep reading... Show less

Former President Donald Trump

Youtube Screenshot

Attorneys for Donald Trump, the former president, are now in direct talks with officials from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

CNN calls it “the first sign of talks between the two sides as the criminal probe into January 6, 2021, accelerates.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}