Reed Says ‘I’m Sorry’ for Role in Creating Citigroup

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Published in Bloomberg November 6, 2009 by Bob Ivry
 
John S. Reed, who helped engineer the merger that created Citigroup Inc., apologized for his role in building a company that has taken $45 billion in direct U.S. aid and said banks that big should be divided into separate parts.
“I’m sorry,” Reed, 70, said in an interview yesterday. “These are people I love and care about. You could imagine emotionally it’s not easy to see what’s happened.”
Citigroup was formed in 1998 when Citicorp, a commercial bank, combined with Sanford I. Weill’s Travelers Group Inc., which owned the investment firm Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc. The New York-based company lost $27.7 billion in 2008 and took $118 billion in write downs. Now 34 percent-owned by the Treasury Department, Citigroup sought help in the wake of a credit freeze that claimed three of Wall Street’s biggest firms and led to the deepest recession in 70 years.

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