Much like a college junior on a study abroad trip, Citigroup (C) CEO Vikram Pandit is discovering new truths about his place in the world on a trip to South Korea for the G20 meeting of global economic powers. You see, it was only after his departure for Seoul that he realized just how underappreciated America’s bailed-out financial institutions are back home.
The New York Times reports:
“I kind of feel like I’m living in parallel universes,” Mr. Pandit said in a forum that included Peter Sands of Standard Chartered Bank and Stephen A. Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group. “I’m here in Korea and I feel this warmth and need and the sense of trying to have a dialogue with each other, but then when I get back to my real universe, it’s cold in that universe.”
By ProPublica’s count, Citigroup has since 2008 been the recipient of $280 billion in U.S. government handouts. The Treasury Department has not yet finished selling off what had once been a 27 percent position in the company. So yeah, we could see how a Citi CEO might feel a little like he’s getting the cold shoulder in the States.
mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor