Citigroup is terrible at negotiating with the government

Fortune

Wall Street thinks Citigroup got a raw deal.

On Monday, the giant bank agreed to pay $7 billion to settle government claims that Citigroup sold mortgage bonds that its bankers knew were rotten in the years leading up to the financial crisis. Shares of Citi [fortune-stock symbol=”C”] are up today. But they are still down nearly 7% this year. By comparison, Bank of America [fortune-stock symbol=”BAC”] stock is up slightly. And shares of Wells Fargo [fortune-stock symbol=”WFC”] are up nearly 15%.

Bank analyst Mike Mayo of CLSA seemed shocked and disappointed that Citi had agreed to settle for so much during a call with Citi’s top management on Monday morning. “Why did you settle for what many people think is a huge amount?” he asked Citi CEO Michael Corbat on a conference call with other analysts. “It’s much more than I or anyone I talk to on Wall Street thought…

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