A day after Merrill Lynch announced $6 billion of write-downs and 4,000 job cuts, Citigroup has issued its own bleak statement: a loss of $5.1 billion in the first quarter and the upcoming elimination of about 9,000 jobs. Since January, Citigroup has cut more than 13,000 jobs. "We are taking the necessary steps to make Citi more efficient while fostering a culture of accountability and teamwork," said CEO Vikram Pandit in a statement released today. "As we move into the second quarter and beyond, we will continue to divest nonstrategic assets and allocate capital to the products and regions that will drive increased revenues, enhance the value of our franchise, and ultimately, maximize shareholder value."
A rare 5.2 magnitude earthquake shook parts of the Midwest this morning. The quake's epicenter was near West Salem, Ill., in the southern half of the state; it shook homes and buildings in parts of Ohio and Indiana. No injuries or deaths have been reported.
Custody hearings continue today in San Angelo, Texas, to decide the fate of 416 children who were removed from a polygamous-sect-owned compound after reports of physical abuse and underage pregnancy. During day one of hearings yesterday, a child welfare investigator testified that at least five of the removed girls (all under the age of 18) were either pregnant or already mothers.