Let's play What's Wrong With This Picture!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 09:08 AM

Just a cute and short, nasty, of course, take on some recent news, and after the break, we'll play!

First, let's start with this news item:
Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. posted the biggest loss in the bank's 196-year history as surging defaults on home loans forced it to write down the value of subprime-mortgage investments by $18 billion.

The fourth-quarter net loss of $9.83 billion, or $1.99 a share, compared with a profit of $5.1 billion, or $1.03, a year earlier, the New York-based bank said in statement. Citigroup reduced its dividend by 41 percent and is selling $14.5 billion of preferred stock to investors including the government of Singapore to shore up depleted capital. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit eliminated 4,200 jobs and plans more cuts.


Citigroup fell 7.3 percent in New York trading as the largest U.S. bank warned of rising delinquencies on its $214 billion portfolio of home loans and said more credit-card and auto loans were going bad. The bank cited a slowing economy in setting aside $5.2 billion to cover loan losses in its U.S. consumer division, about five times the year-earlier amount.

The markdown on subprime securities, almost double what the company forecast in November, also was the biggest so far among the world's top financial companies, exceeding the $14 billion taken by Zurich-based UBS AG, Europe's largest bank.

Aw, gee, that's some pretty bad news, right?

Hmm, now, let's look at this little gem:

Chevron Corp. expects that its fourth quarter profits will exceed the $3.7 billion the company earned in the July-September period, the company said late Thursday in an interim update.

A jump in crude oil and natural gas prices fueled the improvement in profits at San Ramon-based Chevron.

Profits for refining, marketing and transportation, also known as the downstream business for the company, "are expected to remain low in the fourth quarter."

Chevron's shares dropped $1.27 or 1 percent Friday to $90.63.

Okay, quiz time: Compare these two stories and ask yourself...What's Wrong With This Picture?

Y'all come back now, y'hear?