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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Economy: The Housing Crisis

Anybody out there remember Charles Prince? Charles O. Prince III, to be exact? The CEO of Citigroup. Well, the former CEO of Citigroup, actually. See, like many of us, Mr. Prince ("Chuck" to his friends) is currently unemployed. Bad timing, Chuckie. You should've kept your job.

May we say, with extreme bitterness, that our sense of irony would be greatly gratified if it had been outsourced to India, or better yet, Nigeria, which is proving itself so efficient at large-scale widespread scammage?

In any event, having lost his cushy CEO job, Chuck has, to his own everlasting regret, been forced to place his very expensive house on the market for sale. And, he's having trouble selling it. In fact, he's already reduced the price by a whopping $300,000.

Of course, the fact that most of us live in homes that are priced at or below what Mr. Prince considers a "discount" probably leads us to feel less inclined to whip out the old hankie and shed a few tears for Mr. Prince.

Yup, he's reduced the price to a $5.85 million, and its been on the market for six months now with nary a nibble. Of course, he only paid $4.48 million to buy it, so maybe he should resign himself to making a little less profit, the greedbag.
Prince first listed his home in January, two months after he stepped down from Citigroup, then the biggest U.S. bank by assets. His departure followed $5.9 billion of mortgage-related writedowns and credit losses in the third quarter and came as the bank prepared to announce another $18 billion.
We're going to be mean here and say we find this news heartening. Not because we dislike Mr. Prince, or anything so trivial. We despise Citigroup, his former employer, with a passion thanks to an excruciating experience with their Visa card, but we'd prefer not to give that memory a second of brain time. No, we find this news heartening because if the housing market crisis that has driven so many of us out of our houses and homes is affecting the super-wealthy &mdash and, let's face it, CEOs of banking conglomerates are the very definition of super-wealthy &mdash then it is to be hoped that the rotten bastards will develop a grain of sympathy, however tiny, for those of us who have been thrust into the same position by their fiscal imprudence.

Have a heart, bankers. You can lose your cushy jobs and be forced out of your multi-million dollar homes, too.

Meantime, if you're weeping over Mr. Prince's supposed sufferings, don't. NNDB informs us that his exit package is pretty damned healthy:
His exit package, including share awards, share options and pension entitlements, totals about $95-million.
Most of us don't have pensions anymore, thanks to people like Chuck.

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At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just pay off the frickin' mortgage Chuck. Sheesh...

At 10:58 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Given the size of his um, package, it's not like he can't afford it, yaknow? Plus his wife's a high-powered lawyer, between the two of them they could buy another ten houses just like that before they made an impression in their combined finances.


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