January 27th, 2009
09:41 AM ET
4 years ago

Treasury presses Citigroup not to buy $50 million jet

The Obama administration pressed struggling Citigroup to reverse course on its plans to purchase a $50 million corporate jet.

The Obama administration pressed struggling Citigroup to reverse course on its plans to purchase a $50 million corporate jet.

(CNN) - The Obama administration pressed struggling Citigroup to reverse course after a Treasury Department official called the company Monday and "told them it was unacceptable" to accept delivery of a new $50 million corporate jet.

The move comes as new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner tries to quickly bring more accountability and oversight to the much-maligned TARP program he now oversees. Under that program, Citigroup has already received some $45 billion in government bailout funds, which is why a New York Post report about the new jet sparked outrage.

Related: Citi cancels jet plans

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday the President believes private jets aren’t “the best use of money at this point" with America facing a financial crisis.

Filed under: Treasury
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Capital Insider

    You have to be freakin' kidding me! A private jet? You are joking right? I am glad the New York Post brought this too light, and now I really wonder how much use our bailout money (you and my money fellow taxpayers) is being used by these corporations.

    January 27, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Go ahead and buy your jet - AFTER you return every penny to the US Treasury. Saying you 'won't use federal funds' to buy the plane is idiotic. You may be that stupid, but we taxpayers are not. If you can afford that plane, you don't need bailout money.

    Drown in your extravagance and ego. See if I care.

    January 27, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  3. Matt


    January 27, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. LIP

    Supposedly, according to the Golden Rule, the person with the gold makes the rules. Of course there are exceptions. Once the gold is given away and if there were no rules applied and consented to, then the giver can no longer control the recipient. Salavie!

    January 27, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Bill

    The Feds managing all the businesses that accept bail out funds is going to upset the perverbial apple cart. Those business in competition who do not take federal money will have a distinct advantage over those being managed by the Feds.

    Who believes a government run business can compete with a free market privately run business? If you do then you are living a fantasy.

    January 27, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. noway

    My house loan is with Citi. they are getting bailout money and buying jets. Not paying off the loans that have failed. If Citi or the Governement gives me money i would pay my house off.

    January 27, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Texas

    I am so happy that I cancelled my credit card with them. Even in the face of their corporation's irresponsibility, they had the nerve to increase my interest rate to 29%. This would be an illegal interest rate for one private citizen to charge another, but somehow the laws in this country are skewed in favor of greedy companies like Citigroup.

    January 27, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Ray Fisher

    This is a first!!! But why should he have to ask??? Since these banksare getting federal dollars they must also receive directions for their use!!! America is getting sick of wasting away via fatcat executives!!!

    January 27, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. LLT

    Another great move Pres. Obama!! Change has come!!

    January 27, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Denise

    It was reported that the $50 million plane on order was from FRANCE. Glad to see our bailout money being put to good use for OTHER ecomonies.

    It would be nice to see the gov't TAKE BACK any and all TARP monies to companies that payout to CEO's, bonus', extravagant purchases, and out right wasting of OUR money.

    When the companies were "well off" I did not care what they spent their money on.....but this is MINE and YOURS they are spending.

    January 27, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. TCM

    governmental, socialistic control, in it's infancy.....first, as socialists, the government, undermined by dem congress, wants to "bail out," or fund the banks...now that they have the government's money, the government, in all it's glorified incompetence, now has leverage on the market...by telling private industry what to do...because we bailed them out....hey idiots dems in WASHINGTON....don't bail them out, let them fail...supply and demand will rectify the market...with idiots like OBama, Pelosi, Reid and now the shining example of a treasury sec that cheats on his taxes...we're going to trust them? We're screwed by the spolied liberal agenda....I see a country that will soon be divided into other countries...

    January 27, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. NY Dem

    Are you kidding me? Asking for a bailout and then buying a jet??? Citigroup should be left high and dry. Let capitalism run its course and eliminate bad business models like the Citi group umbrella, which seems to to have failed miserably.

    January 27, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Thieves

    Why not ... just jack everyone's interest rate up a few more notches.

    I cancelled my credit cards.

    January 27, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. BB

    After a 25 year history with Citi Visa, and no late payments EVER, they were going to raise my interest rates. They told me it wasn't personal.

    I told them "It's not personal, please cancel my account" and I cut up my card.

    My money is very personal to me. Everyone else should do the same. DO NOT PAY THE HIGH RATES.

    January 27, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. DWoods

    There definitely has to be less pork and more accountability/oversight to this money. Why should companies and people be given funding if their is no tracking of monetary allocations? Stop talking and perform action!

    January 27, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. Danny in Chicago

    If this isn't change in our government from the past eight years, then what is it? We have a government now actually committed to accountability! This is what we have been waiting for! Thank you Obama and the administration in keeping these bullies accountable! Thank you!

    January 27, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Mark

    All these people who received the bailout need to be accountable for what they do the the money. A new jet is irresponsible. The government shouyld pull the money back from these abusers.

    January 27, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. Bob in Pa

    Yes, maybe Citi should offer to pay Tim's tax bill instead.

    January 27, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  19. Beverly, NYC

    I would like a CEO of any large company to explain where their sense of entitlement and chutzpah comes from. How do you sleep nights? Laying off workers, asking those who survive the ax to do more with less, all the while seeing to it that your life does not change one iota. While I am sure Citi executives need air transportation to manage a global company, gentlemen could a cheaper alternative such as net jet, marquis jet or video conferencing been considered? How many jobs at Citi could have been saved with 50 million?

    January 27, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. Denise in Texas

    It's time someone be held accountable for this mess. Stop giving away our tax dollars to greedy corporate CEO's. They should all be FIRED!! FIRED!!FIRED!! ENRON should have been the wake-up call.
    These morons are taking America for granted.

    January 27, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. itbeme

    wow...glad my tax money could be put to such a needy cause.....would hate for those guys to fly commercial or anything.

    January 27, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. j-stl

    If the jet is american made – wouldn't this be called stimulus?

    January 27, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  23. Robert

    Finally, an administration that quickly cracks down on these leeches.

    January 27, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. American

    Why does a bank think it needs a jet of any kind? If you can't get their by driving then get a ticket and ride with those that are saving your behinds. Did they not get that message when everyone flipped out on the automakers for taking corporate jets to Washington? Thats right, the banks just get to do what they want.

    January 27, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. Cammi317

    They better not have kept it....

    January 27, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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