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Why Citigroup Is Making Me Nervous

John Grgurich
February 14, 2013

Whether you're in a personal relationship or a business relationship, no one likes mixed signals. But that's exactly what Citigroup (NYSE: C) is sending to its investors regarding plans for handling cash reserves set aside for the bank's troubled mortgages.

Bad banks for bad mortgages
Reuters is reporting that John Gerspach, Citigroup's Chief Financial Officer, told investors at a conference this past Tuesday that the bank would begin releasing these reserve funds "sooner rather than later." The bad mortgages, a leftover from the financial crisis, were spun off from Citigroup into another entity called Citi Holdings, which lost $3.7 billion last year. 

But not even one month ago, Gerspach told investors on the bank's fourth-quarter earnings call that Citigroup was hesitant to release these reserves until the country had more completely resolved the fiscal cliff -- that the way it had been settled was a case of "kicking the can down the road."  

If you build it, they will come
But since nothing has changed from a politic