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Wall Street groveling

The New York Times has a nice round-up of the apologies proffered by various titans of Wall Street, which range from not much of an apology at all ("The issue is not so much the products, but the housing market”) to pretty contrite ("The issue is not so much the products, but the housing market.”).

But if you're looking for some really good groveling, check out Citigroup's statement upon announcing that it had made $4.4 billion in profits over the first quarter. "All of us at Citi recognize that we would not be where we are without the assistance of American taxpayers," says the company. "We are gratified that Citi has been able to repay their TARP investment in our company, with a substantial return, as well as create a significant increase in the value of their equity in Citi. Still, that is not enough. We owe taxpayers a huge debt of gratitude for assisting us at a critical time."

And indeed they do. All that said, you can sort of understand why the Wall Street CEOs aren't more personally apologetic. Given that all their colleagues and competitors made pretty much the same mistake, it's hard for them to understand why anyone thinks they personally did something wrong. It really was bigger than Dick Fuld. But that goes to how tone-deaf they are: They're being asked to apologize as representatives of -- and participants in -- Wall Street, which collectively did something terrible.

By Ezra Klein  |  April 19, 2010; 10:34 AM ET
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Next: Names you should know: Neil Wolin, Michael Barr, Diana Farrell


Dear Wall Street:
Want to show some love? Stop lobbying against regulations that would make you straighten up and fly right.
the rest of America

Posted by: ciocia1 | April 19, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

“A sound banker, alas, is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him.” John Maynard Keynes, 1931.

Posted by: bdballard | April 19, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

when exactly will Fannie and Freddie be repaying? Or groveling for that matter?

hooray for government run __________.

Posted by: visionbrkr | April 19, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Wonderful, the new Republican/Corporate theme... "yea, but they were doing it too."

New Slogan: "The Party of No (Responsibility)"

Posted by: Jaycal | April 19, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

as jim kramer says, if you want to make lots of money,leave your conscience at the door.

can people who say that, live that and convince themselves of that, escape their karma?
the gods come to meet us all from the opposite direction.
i would not want to be any of them.

Posted by: jkaren | April 19, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I can only hope that Dick Fuld is old enough that his peers did not have the juvenile reaction to his name that I did.

Posted by: MosBen | April 19, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

At first reading, I thought the Citibank statement said, "...We owe taxpayers a huge debt of gratitude for assisting us at a CRIMINAL time."

Same difference.

Posted by: cheesemonkey | April 20, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

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