Last week's New York Times article, which blamed him for bringing down Citigroup and really the entire global economy, must have been difficult for Robert Rubin, who has spent the past twenty-odd years basking in the glow of economic hero worship, to take. And then Citigroup made it even worse, going so far out of their way to distance him from the egregiously bad decisions that led to their current state that he ended up just sounding like kind of a lame duck: "While Mr. Rubin is a member of the Board and plays an advisory and client service role at Citigroup, he was never an 'architect' nor was he a drafter of Citigroup's risk-taking plans," Citigroup vice-chairman Lewis Kaden wrote in a letter to the Times.
And then there was CEO Vikram Pandit on Charlie Rose: "In the eleven months that I've been in this job as I worked with him, it's pretty clear that he doesn't drive the execution decisions." "It's pretty clear"? What is he, a painting on the wall?! Thanks a lot, Vikram. Clearly, Rubin's ego couldn't take it. Like a cocky serial killer on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, his determination to prove he was smarter than his investigators outweighed his common sense, and the former Treasury secretary decided to give two interviews, to The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek, to set things right. Naturally, they only made him look even guiltier.
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