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Citigroup names Vikram Pandit permanent CEO

By Times Wires
Published December 12, 2007


NEW YORK

Citigroup Inc. named Vikram Pandit, the head of its investment banking business, as its chief executive officer Tuesday, charging him with restoring the bank's profitability and reputation after missteps in lending and investing left Citi with billions of dollars in losses. The banking company named Sir Win Bischoff, who has been Citi's acting CEO, as its chairman, replacing Robert E. Rubin, who had stepped into the role when CEO and chairman Charles Prince was ousted last month. Pandit, who ran a hedge fund bought by Citi earlier this year, is seen as a careful, decisive investment banker - qualities Citi needs following the revelation that Citi's writedowns of soured mortgages could amount to as much as $17.5-billion by the end of the year.

WASHINGTON

Retailers ready to sell TV converters

Best Buy Co. Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and six other retailers will sell equipment enabling owners of analog television sets to continue to view programming after the 2009 nationwide switch to digital broadcasting, the federal government said. Starting Jan. 1, an estimated 13-million to 21-million households that rely on an antenna to watch TV can contact the government to get two coupons worth $40 each to buy converter boxes. The $1.5-billion program ends March 31, 2009. The nation's broadcasters will be turning off their analog over-the-air broadcasts on Feb. 17, 2009. The other major retailers include Circuit City Stores Inc., Target Corp., Sears Holdings Corp. and its Kmart outlets and RadioShack Corp. Wal-Mart's Sam's Club stores will also sell the devices.

Do-not-call list made permanent

The House voted to make permanent the program protecting people from telemarketer calls, relieving consumers from having to renew their participation in the do-not-call registry. After Congress in 2003 created the do-not-call registry shielding millions of people from those dinnertime interruptions from telemarketers, the Federal Trade Commission wrote rules requiring consumers to re-register their phone numbers every five years. About 146-million people have signed up for the do-not-call list.

MILWAUKEE

Target settles racial bias suit

Target Corp. will pay $510,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit alleging the Minneapolis-based discount chain refused to hire four African-Americans because of their race. The consent decree signed Monday by Federal Judge Rudolph T. Randa ends a six-year legal battle between Target and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission involving stores in the Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., areas. But the consent decree is not a finding on the merits of the case for or against either party.