The Thistle Volume 13, Number 2: Sept./Oct., 2000.

Citibank: The World’s Most Destructive Bank

by Chris Lucas - 617.970.3022 -

Although you may not have noticed it, Citibank has played a smart game at MIT. It is namely that of “Hey look what we can fund here, while we plunder the rest of the earth for profit”. They contribute to some student programs such as MITE2S, and hold a very cozy relationship with many faculty members. So it is understandable why we generally aren’t aware that Citibank uses MIT student’s money from credit cards, student loans, and bank accounts to fund the world’s most environmentally and socially destructive projects. That’s just how they like it.

Citibank is the consumer face of the corporation Citigroup, which was formed through an illegal merger of Traveler’s Group Insurance and Citibank in 1997.Citigroup successfully lobbied for a 2-year grace period, which was then used to repeal the Glass-Stegall Act, the law barring mergers between companies like Traveler’s and Citibank. It gets worse folks.

Now we have Citibank here at MIT, looking to give us credit cards, so that they can then use that money to help fund globally destructive projects that ruin the environment and displace indigenous people. It is reasonable to assume that we do not want our money being used to destroy the planet, and it follows that we must then halt Citibank’s presence at MIT until it stops it’s involvement in projects like:

    - The Three Gorges Dam, poised to displace over 2 million people in China.
    - Working with the Maxxam Corporation to log the last of California’s Redwoods.
    - Mining the Amazon Rainforests.
    - Funding the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline, which will decimate millions of acres of rainforest and displace its indigenous people.

The list goes on and on, but it doesn’t have to. We at MIT can show our disapproval of Citibank’s lending practices in a number of ways. The most important is October 17th, where there will be a large demonstration and press conference outside of Boston’s Salmon Smith Barney (Citigroup’s corporate lender).MIT students have already placed over 100 calls into Citibank telling them that don’t want their money being used to fund global destruction. This momentum must carry over to the day of action on October 17th.

Citibank would also like to employ you to assist in underwriting the destruction of the environment and communities. MIT and other students around Boston will be present at their corporate recruiting sessions October 13th and 14th, telling students to question Citibank’s practices and asking them to not take jobs with this destructive bank. Citibank has not demonstrated that it has earned the privilege of having access to MIT students.

Citibank is the worst miner, logger, and red-liner in the country. As the largest bank in North America, and a true finance industry leader, they must be held accountable. We have power as customers and students to campaign for a sane and sustainable economy. Join us in the fight to stop Citibank, the world’s most destructive bank, call the Rainforest Action Network at 617.787.3556.


The Thistle Volume 13, Number 2: Sept./Oct., 2000.