January 27, 2009

Citigroup scraps $50 million jet purchase

Beleaguered New York financial giant Citigroup said it canceled an order for a new $50 million corporate jet after White House officials criticized the idea.

The luxury jet liner, a French-made Dassault Falcon 7X, would have seated 12 in high style, ABC News reported Tuesday.

Citigroup defended its decision to go ahead with the purchase Monday. But, officials from the Obama White House called and told the company to fix it, ABC reported.

By fix it, the officials meant fix the public relations disaster of a company receiving $45 billion in a taxpayer bailout, then -- even though the jet was ordered two years ago -- spending $50 million on a company toy that would, at capacity, serve 12 people.

The president said this during the transition, as it related to the auto companies using private jets, (he) doesn't believe that's the best use of money at this point, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

We have no intent to take delivery of any new aircraft, the company said in a statement issued Tuesday.