The years of lending dangerously: Citibank

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The Independent Online
Under Walter Wriston's leadership in the Seventies, Citibank sets the pace for global banking and lending to the Third World. In 1981 in Lausanne, he assures his audience that countries do not go bankrupt, only people do.

August 1982: Mexico defaults on its loans and Third World debt crisis begins.

1984: Citicorp buys Scrimgeour Kemp Gee, voted top UK house by investment analysts in 1979, and Vickers da Costa for a reputed pounds 140m.

May 1987: Citibank precipitates a worldwide reappraisal of Third World debt by making provisions of 25 per cent or dollars 3bn.

1987: Citicorp injects further dollars 40m into Citicorp Scrimgeour Vickers (CSV).

1988: Mounting losses in London. Pulls out of gilts and confines trading of equities to key stocks in 1989. Closes CSV equity business in January 1990.

January 1991: Moody's, the US credit rating agency, lowers rating on Citicorp senior debt from A-3 to Baa-2.

October 1992: Citicorp can no longer make acquisitions or add to its assets without the regulators' approval.

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