“A day after New Year’s in 2008, Citigroup announced that one of its most troubled units had a new chief operating officer: Jack Lew.
In a sea of Wall Street traders and hedge fund managers, Lew stood out. He was a career government bureaucrat who had joined Citigroup 18 months earlier hoping to gain experience in the business world. Now he was getting more than he could have imagined.
In the following months, as the entire bank teetered, Lew’s group would cope with massive losses, lawsuits from angry investors and probes from government officials. The group, called Citigroup Alternative Investments, had been overseeing one of the most toxic parts of the bank’s business, known as structured investment vehicles — unregulated entities that threatened to send Citigroup, as well as the broader financial system, over the edge.”
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