Citigroup leads finance world in bullshit-generating capacity

The Atlantic's Derek Thompson has located a truly world-beating piece of obfuscated corporate bullshit, courtesy of Citi, who took 86 words to convey a simple fact: "Citigroup today announced [lay offs]. These actions will [save money]."

Citigroup today announced a series of repositioning actions that will further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company while maintaining Citi's unique capabilities to serve clients, especially in the emerging markets. These actions will result in increased business efficiency, streamlined operations and an optimized consumer footprint across geographies.

Citigroup Eliminates 11,000 Jobs in History's Most Corporate-Jargony Paragraph Ever (via Making Light)

(Image: Muddy Maher's, Kinsale, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from ujh's photostream)


  1. Good ol’ Citibank. I quit them in 2009 after they optimized the footprint of my credit card by doubling the interest rate for no reason other than simple greed. 

    1. Eh, I left Citi because of their obnoxious charges on bounced 3rd party checks (namely the rent checks my deadbeat schmuck of a roommate bounced off me) and went to BofA for their slightly less obnoxious involuntarily bounced deadbeat check charges. But come 2009, or whenever it was that BofA changed hands, I came to regret it far more that anything Citi did to me. But who’s counting? Thugs and highway robbers, all of them.

      1. My credit union and my USAA credit card are rather decent, as those two are socialist enterprises.

    2. Two weeks after I closed my account they sent an autodeduct through then had the gall to call me up and tell me I owed them $50 for overextending my account as well as the money they had sent from the closed account.

      The yelling the manager received in public about poor customer service being the reason I had closed my account in the first place for a credit union who knew me by name hopefully had an impact on everyone waiting in line…

    3. I streamlined my efficiency while maintain realistic contractual concepts when I repositioned citigroup by shredding my credit card with them for posting disagreeable and unwarranted fees without prior approval in 2002. Sorry, people who lost your jobs, but you’ve been working for the devil, so now you know better? 

  2. My son just got over a stomach bug.  All Monday night he was repositioning his freshest protein-based nutrient assets through a streamlined reverse-peristaltic chain reaction across multiple geographies, including his bed, the stairs, the bathroom floor, and one of my slippers.  His net throughput has since stabilized, thank God.

    1. Thanks for that. I just repositioned my carbonated high-fructose corn syrup based beverage all over my data input device.

  3. The real headline should be “Citibank didn’t anticipate market changes and is now scrambling to catch up while attempting to cover its ass with passive marketingspeak.”

  4. Cross any corporate HR department with the PR department, throw in some of the folks from legal “just in case,” and the output you’re guaranteed to get is some grade-A, Harry Frankfurt certified BS.

    In other words, if you think this was bad imagine sitting through endless meetings with the people who came up with this garbage.

  5. You’ll laugh out of the other side of your laugher if it turns out that the people they are laying off are their 11,000 bullshit artists. 

          1. why do some folks fall over themselves to genuflect in front of the likes of these companies?
            people are weird.

          2. What people seem to have forgotten is the meaning of the word “bonus,” as in “something in addition to what is expected or strictly due.”  It’s all very well to ensure one’s contract includes provisions for additional payments over and above salary, but all forms of contractual payment are gonna be “what is expected or strictly due.”  Once upon a time, the “bonus” one received for outstanding job performance or long service or fabulous gains in corporate stock value or whatever was entirely contingent upon the powers-that-be deciding such a bonus was earned.

            How distasteful the word’s new meaning has become.

  6. Ran this through the *wheedlebox*:

    – We fired people
    – That makes us even cheaper to run, and we run even better now (we’re amazingly truly really good at running ourselves)
    – but don’t worry!!!  We’re still very very special, and especially in markets with people who look like they’re getting richer by the minute, we’re amazingly special and are the only firm who’s amazingly incredibly special like that, because they might help us make much more money, and we’re slightly abandoning the older markets we’re all used to because … hey we’re all friends!  Sit down, have a beer.
    – We’ll now be so good at what we do, so slim attractive and amazing, that we’re sure our appearance will be undeniably desirable to you

    – We’re *fzzt* getting into *bzzz* the sneaker business *prrrrt* and selling *grtpft* fantastic long-distance running gear *fzzt* to *gzzz* Vanuatu

  7. It’s always going to be funny, but never forget that their first goal isn’t to bullshit you, it’s to confuse you. The more ridiculous and long they make it, the more likely that you’ll just stop reading, and then they don’t have to convince you of anything.

  8. If they are optimizing and streamlining for better delivery, they would have done it years ago not suddenly realized one fine day.  Just goes to show you the people at the top have no fucking clue what they are doing.  If they knew what they were doing, they wouldn’t get into tough spots.  Meanwhile, as others have pointed out, the fat cats at the top continue to rake in the big dough regardless of the company’s bottom line.  Pitchforks and axes, I tell ya.  I don’t know when we’re going to get so fed up that we just simply refuse to let organizations like this even exist.

  9. As an equation it looks like this: 

    260,000 – 11,000 = $1,100,000,000. 

    But don’t worry. Citigroup has a CSR report. Oh, sorry; it’s written by the same people who passed the rotting log above. My mistake…. 

  10. Derek Thompson is on the right track, but has failed to make Citigroup actually responsible for the sackings. His shortened version would be better as follows: “We’ve just sacked 11,000 people to save money.” 

    If this were an audio file, a long wet raspberry would follow to indicate how management thinks about those sacked.

  11. We laugh about it, but the market, NYSE, is rewarding this action.  Up more than 3% since the 5th of December and it looks to me it’s holding those gains.

    Also the thought of “Cross any corporate HR department with the PR department, throw in some of the folks from legal ” scares the hell out of me!

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