Citi weighs Wachovia buy today, says NYT

Wall Street_Henr
Specialist Arthur Andrews, foreground, works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

   "Citigroup officials are meeting today" to review a proposed takeover of Wachovia Corp., says the New York Times. If Citi doesn't bite, Wells Fargo might. Feds "resisting pressure" to sweeten the deal by bailing out stupid Wachovia home loans. Story here.
   A Citi-Wachovia deal could mean a couple of hundred jobs lost in the Philadelphia area, where Citi has 23 mostly brand-new branches, to Wachovia's 200-plus. Citi's Salomon Bros. brokerage offices ((would combine with Wachovia's former Butcher & Singer, Prudential and A.G. Edwards offices. Update: Wachovia will keep those, plus Evergreen mutual funds, while selling to Citi the branches and deposits.))  The merger would probably fall heavily on Wachovia's headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.
   But there are obvious problems with this proposed marriage. Both Citi and Wachovia are troubled companies, with billions in stupid subprime loans and loan-related securities; Wachovia has a histort of picking partners that are bad for it; Citi has trouble managing its vast, diverse organizations.
   Wells Fargo is smaller but a stronger bank, and Wachovia would give it a strong national presence.