Main CitiGroup Page

Outline for

Citibank: Lords of Corruption

by William Meyers

[Suggest reading at end of this page]
[no publication date set, no publisher could be found. Nothing is written except this outline.]

1. The beginning: born in a hothouse of corruption

Citibank did not invent corruption. It was brought to America from Europe; the Revolution and new Federal government changed little. Banks were considered by many to be corrupt in and of themselves, like usury, and there were no banks in the Colonies at the time of the Revolution. Citibank was born in 1812 to serve the interests of a few New York City merchants who bribed the New York State legislature to get a charter.

2. 19th Century Robber Banking: Moses Taylor and James Stillman

Citi's money did not come from nowhere. In the 1800's it came from the usual places: stolen Native American lands, raping the environment, defrauding small investors, and corrupt deals with the local and federal governments. Moses Taylor was a pillar of the infamous Tammamy Hall and James Stillman consorted with the most corrupt Robber Barons and politicians of his era.

3. Citibank and Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico

When Congress (and the Presidency) succumbed to systematic corruption in the 1880's, Citbank was there. The system perfected by Senator Nelson Aldrich traded high tariffs on imported goods for campaign contributions and stock market tips. Central to it was Henry Havemeyer, who owned the Sugar Trust. He engineered the annexation of Hawaii and soon afterwards Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, to get his hands on their sugar plantations. Havmeyer served on only one board outside of the Sugar Trust: National City Bank's (now Citibank). Using Citibank money, he and James Stillman bought most of the plantations of the conquered colonies.

Citibank was also a chief supporter of the corrupt pre-revolution (1910) regime in Mexico. Citibank and the corruption of the PRI (the current governing party). Citibank's connection to the NAFTA, GATT, and the Chiapas rebellion.

4. Citibank, Mutual Funds, and The Great Depression

During the 1920's Citibank encouraged investors to buy stocks at vastly inflated prices. In 1932 the Senate Banking Committee found that Citibank knew the stocks were overvalued, and that the 1929 stock market crash was largely a result of stock prices falling to their real values. Banking law reforms were enacted to protect citizens from Citibank's greed.

1932 Senate testimony Citibank

5. Citibank, the Federal Reserve, and Human Misery

How the Federal Reserve works. The creation of money. Various economic theories and their relation to Federal Reserve manipulations. Citibank's relation to the Fed. Profiting on human misery: the 1980-1982 depression and other examples. The new electronic money and its consequences.

6. Bonds and Corruption

Why governments, and the rich, prefer bonds. Citi's role in the bond market. Why bonds should never be used to finance government projects like schools and prisons.

7. Citibank and War, War, War

Citibank and the War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish American War, Philippines War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars, plus some small wars in countries with "American interests."

8. The House Always Wins: Credit Cards I

Citibank did not invent credit cards, but it was the first to make them a financial success. Spending money using a credit card is always a gamble, because the banks and Federal Reserve structure unemployment into the economy. Statistically Citibank and other issuers can count on people getting behind in payments; the profits from usurious interest rates on balances have fueled Citibank's latest round of expansion.

The economic disenfranchisement of America, the credit card, and the new peonage: how Citibank planned and executed an economic counter-revolution.

9. The House Always Wins: the 1980 SEC Investigation

During the 1970's Citibank successfully manipulated the foreign currency markets for its own profit, often adversely affecting U.S. interests. Laws were broken on a massive scale, but an SEC investigation resulted in a mere "stop doing that" directive when Ronald Reagan (a close friend of then Citibank CEO Walter Wriston) took office. Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, however, settled with Citibank for millions of dollars in penalties.

10. Financing global catastrophe: Citibank and the ecocrisis

How Citibank continues to finance the rape of the environment.

11. Citibank and Deregulation

What Citibank wants now, and how they plan to get it through their politicians.

12. Who Owns Citibank; Who Citibank Owns

Who owns Citibank and other big banks. Who and what else they own.

Walter Wriston, Citibank CEO, was a close friend and supporter of Reagan. Ties between Citi, other banks and industrialists, and prominent politicians.

13. Banking on the New World Order

Most of Citibank's biggest historic losses came as a result of war and revolution. It favors one world government because it would be insured against such losses. It would be able to penetrate every market in the world and suck the economic blood out of every citizen. This is also critically important to Citi's allies, international corporations and other super-banks.

14. 1998: The Travelers Merger & Other Updates

15. The End: America's biggest bank (Summary & conclusions)

Today Citibank is the richest bank in the U.S., and, depending on exchange rates, at times is the richest in the world. It effectively controls Visa and Mastercard. It has branches in every country of the world, and can make and break nations with its investments and exchange rate manipulations. Its tentacles are everywhere, and it seeks to write laws to its own satisfaction, including the current push to "deregulate" the banking industry.

Selected Biography:

Citibank 1812-1970 by Harold van B. Cleveland and Thomas F. Huertas

Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War by Bray Hammond

Wriston: Walter Wriston, Citibank, and the Rise and Fall of American Financial Supremacy by Phillip L. Zweig / Hardcover / Published 1996

Off the Books : Citibank and the World's Biggest Money Game by Robert A. Hutchinson / Published 1986

Citibank's corporate site, with a highly sanitized history.