Reading the Tea Leaves: Did Citigroup Risk their Reputation during 2004-2005?

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Presented at ICAA's Second International Conference Globalization – The Good Corporation June 26–28, 2007 Baruch College, New York City.

In this paper, we challenge the conventional wisdom that high-quality news reports of questionable corporate business practices will stimulate various marketplace negative responses, which in turn, will pressure management to undertake actions designed to protect the organization’s reputation. Analysis is confined to a relatively brief period of bad news relating to Citigroup, Inc. We conclude that while none of the expected negative marketplace responses are evident in widely available news sources, the CEO did exhibit significant concern and instituted a targeted reputation risk management program. In the absence of a concerned CEO, analysts should not, we suggest, expect a management team to respond with reputation-enhancing corrective action solely as a reaction to negative publicity regarding questionable business practices.