Monday, January 26, 2009

TARP $$$$ hard at work........

Beleaguered Citigroup is upgrading its mile-high club with a brand-new $50 million corporate jet -- only this time, it's the taxpayers who are getting screwed.

Even though the bank's stock is as cheap as a gallon of gas and it's burning through a $45 billion taxpayer-funded rescue, the Citigroup's execs pushed through the purchase of a new Dassault Falcon 7X, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The French-made luxury jet seats up to 12 in a plush interior with leather seats, sofas and a customizable entertainment center, according to Dassault's sales literature. It can cruise 5,950 miles before refueling and has a top speed of 559 mph.

There are just nine of these top-of-the-line models in the United States, with Dassault's European factory churning out three to four 7Xs a month.

Citigroup decided to get its new wings two years ago, when the financial-services giant was flush with cash, but it still intends to take possession of the jet this year despite its current woes, the source said.

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