The Huffington Post reported on Tuesday that Citigroup, a recipient of some $45 billion taxpayer money, continues to pay dividends to common and preferred shareholders, despite their stated intention to stop doing so. A spokesperson for the bank said that it will continue to make the payments until the agreement with the government, which will take a 36% stake, is approved by shareholders.
However, according to the report, even after the agreement is finalized, the beleaguered bank will continue to make 11% interest payments on $7.5 billion of bonds to the government of Abu Dhabi, which "owns a hybrid stock-bond instrument that pays out a dividend until it converts, in phases, beginning in March 2010."
This 11% dividend totals "several hundreds of thousands of dollars" a quarter, according to Rachel Ziemba, a senior analyst at RGE Monitor. "Having to make these payouts underscore some of the challenges Citigroup will face moving forward, and why it is still likely to need additional capital," she said. [Huffington Post]As you may recall, Abu Dhabi has provided a $10 billion bailout to the emirate of Dubai. Therefore, just perhaps and in some indirect fashion, you, the American taxpayers, are footing part of the bill for the Sheikh's racing operations. So the next time you see a Darley or Godolphin horse being led to the winner's circle, go down and demand to be in the photo. It's the least they can do.
- The Rangers moved into sixth with a gutsy 4-3 shootout win in Montreal. The team is unrecognizable from just a few weeks ago, transformed under coach John Tortorella from a dull defensive mindset to an aggressive attack-oriented offense that has been relentless in the last three games in which they've averaged 40 shots. Meanwhile, the Devils' Martin Brodeur was all smiles after breaking Patrick Roy's record for most career victories. It was a far cry from the surly whiner that we see after he loses in the playoffs to the Rangers, which he's done three out of the four times they've met in the postseason. Last year, he wouldn't even shake Sean Avery's hand, because Avery hurt the wittle baby's feelings. Personally, I judge professional athletes by their demeanor when things go bad, and I've never seen nor heard Brodeur be gracious in defeat. Whatsmore, for the certain hall of famer that he is, he sure gets easily rattled in the glare of Broadway. So that's one potential playoff matchup that this Ranger fan does not at all fear.