Citi, Rejuvenated

A sign of the times in a WSJ headline today:

Citi, Looking Rejuvenated, Weighs a WaMu Takeover Bid

Yes, "rejuvenated". Young, fresh-faced, carefree. Or, alternatively, just as haggard and battered as it ever was, but looking increasingly healthy in comparison to the rest of the financial system, which is in even worse shape.

"People view us today as being a source of the solution, instead of part of the problem," Gary Crittenden, Citigroup’s chief financial officer, said in an interview.

The scary thing is, he’s absolutely right. Which says much more about the desperate straits we’re in than it does about Citi’s health.

One question, though: if Citi buys WaMu, will the Seattle bank immediately appear on the list of $400 billion in non-core assets which Pandit has said he intends to sell?

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