And The Toughest Job In Banking Is............

Being CEO over at Citi. That's according to The Sunday Times.

Vikram Pandit, the newly-installed boss at Citi, has certainly got his hands full. A share price in the toilet, a balance sheet under pressure, headcount that's ballooned and profits that have shrunk. Whether Pandit's up to the task of righting the Citi ship remains, however, to be seen. Many remain sceptical, with some feeling that his appointment is a disaster waiting to happen, describing him as a 'B'-list CEO.

On Friday the news for Citi got worse. Moody's downgraded the firm's long-term ratings, the day after Pandit bailed out $49bn of SIV assets and stuck them on the company's already troubled balance sheet. Goldman, however, gave the Citi boss a boost, by telling clients that they should buy the company debt as the firm has now insulated itself from additional mortgage-backed losses.

The move to take on the SIV assets onto the balance sheet, however, is thought likely to result in Citi having to cut its dividend. Merrill Lynch's Guy Moszkowski said that the added strain on the balance sheet, together with the arrival of CEO Pandit, could result in the firm changing its dividend policy.

In the meantime, the natives remain restless - the firm's 327,000 staff are axiously awaiting the results of yet another strategic review (due sometime January), as rumours of massive job cuts (up to 10% of the payroll) continue to abound.

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