Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back To the Office .

Published: Nov 14, 2008

 Finance       

Poor Citigroup. First they laid off 40,000 employees, then they lost Wachovia to Wells Fargo, and now it looks like they’ll have to cut another 9,000 bankers, just to stay afloat.

With no big commercial banks left to acquire—they’ve all been bought or gone bankrupt—Citi now finds itself in a position of having to nickel-and-dime its way back into contention (if you thought Chevy Chase was just a comic genius turned washed-up actor who your college friends will quote until the very end, when they actually die, then guess again).

In other sour news, Freddie Mac, that company the Feds bailed out months ago before the big bankruptcies began, just booked more Carl Sagan-like losses (indeed, billions and billions). To be exact, the firm reported a $25.3 billion loss for the third quarter 2008, prompting Freddie to ask Uncle Sam for some of that $200 billion Sam promised him.

In some bittersweet news, which is what passes for great news these days, the president of alternative investment solutions at Bank of America, David Bailin, tells Bloomberg that private equity, real estate and hedge funds (after hedge funds go through a bit of consolidating over the next few months, meaning more hedge fund job losses) will be back in fighting form in the spring of 2009. Sure, perhaps Bailin’s a bit optimistic, but if banks step up and start lending again around the turn of the year, his prediction might be dead-on.

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