Citi must degroup
Citigroup has two options: continue as an unmanageable “bloated mess” or break itself up, says David Weidner in MarketWatch. And only the second option is really feasible. Chairman Robert Rubin and acting CEO Win Bischoff “haven’t signaled that they are ready to make the hard, but increasingly obvious choice of a breakup,” but who they choose to fill the “leadership vacuum” will tip their hand. Another protege of Citigroup architect Sandy Weill wouldn’t “bode well” for a breakup, while a long-shot candidate like BlackRock’s Laurence Fink just might have the right “outsider’s perspective.”
A math geek and your mortgage
Susan Blue Hitt is rewriting the formula that will determine your mortgage rate, says Anne Kadet in SmartMoney, and that’s good news “for responsible borrowers.” A Fair Isaac vice president and “low-profile math geek,” Hitt “probably has more influence over your loan terms” than Ben Bernanke. Her new biennial FICO credit-score formula, due out in early 2008, will reduce the “damage” from a single late mortgage payment. But your kids will no longer benefit from being listed on your credit card account. If you’re looking for “tricky new ways” to boost your FICO score, though, Hitt says you’d be better served “by—yawn—paying the bills on time.”