Friday, December 12, 2008

Citibank cuts its lollipop budget

Banks have always passed out lollipops at drive-through teller windows, but I always figured it was just a nice thing that the local manager did. It never occurred to me that there was a corporate budget item behind it.

Of course, when I was young enough to get a lollipop ("sucker" in my neck of the woods) at a drive-through, there were still local banks. There were six branches of McDowell Bank, which served western Mercer County, Pennsylvania, since the first settlers drained the wetlands and built the town where I grew up in. We had an annoying ritual at the drive-through when we were kids. Mum would be sitting in the car, getting things ready to stick in the pneumatic tube, so my siblings and I would crouch down into the seat wells and start chanting, sotto voce, "Sucker! Sucker! Sucker!" The money and the suckers would come back in the pneumatic tube, bringing blessed relief to my mother, who had to put up with that nonsense.

Anyway, the company that pays Sallie Krawcheck $10.5 million a year (not including $11 million in stock options per year) and Chuck Prince nearly $30 million a year (and another $13 million in stock options) is embracing fiscal austerity by ceasing to pass out suckers at the drive-through bank locations. Excellent. They sure know the best corners to cut.

These bastards won't learn anything until we storm their corporate offices and start fixing their heads on the ends of broom handles.

Suckers for all!



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