Citigroup, the ailing US financial giant, shocked the market yesterday by announcing that it would cut 52,000 jobs by the second half of next year. Vikram Pandit, the bank’s under-pressure chief executive, said yesterday that the total number of employees would shrink to about 300,000 by the end of June. Mr Pandit announced the cost-cutting measures at a “town hall” meeting for staff designed to set out a clear direction for the financial conglomerate, which has suffered big losses from exposures to debt securities and rising bad debts.

I let it pass with John McCain, but henceforth, town hall meetings shall only refer to those meetings which occur in town halls.

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