[Economist] Ooops! les subprimes font mal à Citigroup!!
Worse, it is no longer just collateralised-debt obligations and other complex securitised products that are hurting the world’s largest bank (by assets if no longer by market value). Credit cards and other consumer-finance businesses are deteriorating fast as America’s economy flirts with recession. Citi reported a $4.1 billion rise in credit costs in its American retail operations for the quarter and indicated that losses will grow. It does not help that a hefty 13% of its loans are to subprime borrowers. Corporate lending also looks wobbly. And Citi is on the hook for billions-worth of loans for leveraged buyouts. Since the markets turned, these have proved hard to shift on to other investors.