The Journal’s Citi Scoop—Don’t Bet Against It

Having learned a lesson, I certainly won't

The WSJ’s David Enrich and colleagues Matthew Futterman and Damian Paletta uncork another valuable scoop from deep inside Citigroup’s boardroom this morning, this time on the fact that the subprime leader is considering backing out of its misbegotten $400-million Mets marketing morass.

Citigroup Inc., eager to quell the controversy over how lenders are using government bailout money, is exploring the possibility of backing out of a nearly $400 million marketing deal with the New York Mets, say people familiar with the matter.

A sense of the inside discussion is here:

Within Citigroup, some officials believe the company should try to void the Mets pact in order to distance itself from unnecessary controversy. But other executives argue that trying to wiggle out of the contract will set a bad precedent. “If we cave for political reasons, it will have enormous implications for our ability to contract with third parties,” said an executive who has been briefed on the discussions.

While of course one never knows where the discussions will lead, all i can say is that I’ve doubted Enrich & Co. before and been wrong.

So don’t be surprised if CitiField is called FlushingField on opening day.

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Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014). Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.