January 27th, 2009
09:41 AM ET
11 months 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. Ken

    Hey,
    what about Airforce 1, Marine 1 and all the backup planes that the Pres. uses? Why not just charter them when you need them?

    January 27, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Denise from Baltimore

    Citibank ordered the jet in 2005 when it thought the cash would keep rolling in from the housing boom. I wonder why they did not put the kabosh on such an extrvagance when they found out the sky was falling? Probably because they knew their friends in Washington would let them keep it. Well, their friends are gone and reality has returned. Even if they still have to pay millions to cancel the order, it's the principle that counts! As a society we can't continue to look at support for the poor as an entitlement while we continue to justify the waste, greed and total lack of consceince of the truly "entitled"!

    January 27, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Al

    BB....same thing happened to me and I also cancelled my account. This worker bee has had enough of supporting the extravagant beehive that the corporate world has created for themselves. I am all for keeping the private sector in business but not at the expense of reliable, loyal customers.

    January 27, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Bobby

    Isn't Air Force One the most expensive private jet?

    January 27, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Canuck

    what a bunch of BS. trumped up by the flunkies in congress and propogated by the media to get everyone rilled up at the easy targets, CEOs. the result is that the real culprits in government are not found liable for the economic disaster they created.

    i blame all of them, but frank, dodd, gorelic etc are the most guilty. economics combined with social engineering lead to disaster in the long run.

    prediction pain, and more token banner headlines.

    January 27, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Greed is not good

    No accountability...no strings...they tell the American taxpayers "Let them eat cake" while they buy more jets for the elitist executives.

    January 27, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. BW

    I do not believe these bailouts will solve anything. As a conservative, I am disappointed in the Bush administration for not having a better plan in place when the first wave of money went out. I am even more disappointed in the Democrats (and Obama) who continue to push this out. Let there be no confusion: this money will get mismanaged, some big corporate executives will be rewarded, and some very opportunistic politicians will use this for votes. What we have now is a federal government "running" companies, telling them what they can and can't buy. When many of us our struggling financially, we go work harder...maybe a second job. These companies need to be taught what "Protestant Work Ethic" involves.

    January 27, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Pam

    I agree with the Treasury. it is a blatant mis-use of money.
    Corporate jets are pure luxury. The execs can take an airline and ride coach if they really want to pull their companies out of the quagmire.

    and... Romney 2012???? I think not!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Dennis

    These corporate big-shots have been insulated from reality for so long they just don't get it. They need to be fired and black-balled so the only job they can find is working at some moderate paying salaried position like the vast majority of Americans.

    January 27, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. AndyL

    NO MORE BAILOUT PERIOD

    January 27, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Jim

    Just think, Citibank execs donated 8M to the inaguration. Wonder where that money came from? Their personal accounts? I don't think so.

    January 27, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Caligirl

    Do any of these corporate idiots know anything about history, and that the French Revolution happened for a reason?

    January 27, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. Chuck

    They buy it and they don't get another penny from the government pure and simple.

    January 27, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. shanta S.Lall

    Nice going, thousands lost Job,the top crooks living it up. Who is watching these crooks ? There is no accountability, and ordinary
    Americans have lost their faith in Govt. It is a shame.

    January 27, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. laura

    John Boehner President of this bank? He sure would love that jet ...

    January 27, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. vobichlan

    Citygroup already owns five other private jets. Don't they know the hard time we are going through?

    January 27, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Lesley

    If they are going to sell their old jets to finance the new one, why do they need to use bailout money? Sounds fishy to me. How about giving up corporate perks, like bonuses, redecoration, and corporate jets altogether and put the money into the economy by easing credit and lending again! I'm against giving any banking institutions any more money at all.

    January 27, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Ghost

    Well, if they ordered it before the bailout, that is fine IF it was paid for already. No money should go towards that bill effective after they accepted the money. Sell the old planes 1st. that way, everyone is happy.

    January 27, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. vobichlan

    Citigroup already owns five other private jets. Don't they know the hard time we are going through?

    January 27, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. natasha miller

    Could someone pl tell these top guys to take the regular flights
    like regular guys. With all these perks, look what happend to the bank.
    they were not conducting business, just eating, drinking flying around the world. let the goodtime roll for these crooks

    January 27, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Allen

    Why should anyone be surprised by this? This is what happens when corporate executives know they are not accoutable for their mistakes.

    January 27, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. JA/TN

    don't press them cut off taxpayer bailout to the banks you roasted the auto execs, in the scope of things i see hypocrisy, no foresight, stop giving the banks money, or are you going to be complict

    January 27, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Gene

    That should be a prerequisite with any company asking for a bailout. If they are spending money frivolously, they should automatically be disqualified from any government help.

    January 27, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. Snake eyes

    let them fly commercial-NO CORPORATE JETS WHILE ON CORPORATE WELFARE!!!!
    (which would be alot more of the time than you think!!)

    January 27, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. brian mills

    a foreign made plane with taxpayer money......amazing

    January 27, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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