POLITICS

Sheila Bair Calls Citigroup The 'Worst Bank' During Financial Crisis

01/22/2014 05:00 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

When asked point blank, Sheila Bair has no problem exposing the banks responsible for the 2008 financial crisis.

The former FDIC chair was quickly able to point the finger at Citigroup and Merrill Lynch during an interview with Zach Carter on HuffPost Live.

"During the crisis I said Citigroup was a basket case, Merrill Lynch was a basket case," she said. "These thrifts, Countrywide, Golden West, WAMU, they were all in serious trouble."

But this isn’t the first time Bair has put Citigroup under the spotlight.

She focused on the Wall Street bank’s troubles in her 2012 book "Bull By The Horns." In the book, she labels the institution as "mismanaged," and exposes the fact that Citigroup brought in over 2 trillion in taxpayer dollars, all while having only $125 billion in insured deposits.

The former chairwoman also explains that the financial institutions that conducted 'boring' banking during the crisis are the ones who successfully weathered the storm. But those that took the risks are the ones who had problems, and continue to struggle to this day.

"The banks with this overhang of bad assets, and all the litigation, those are the ones with the big trading operations where we had the problems, continue to have the problems," Bair said.

Just last week, Citigroup disappointed analysts by announcing a mere 21% increase in fourth quarter earnings, which is below Wall Street’s expectations.

Top executives blame high legal costs, explaining that the bank is still trying to fix its lingering mortgage problems.

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