This post by Jill Schlesinger originally appeared on CBS' MoneyWatch.com.
After a dismal day attempting to raise money for its TARP exit, Citigroup needed a boost. What might shine a brighter light on the fallen financial super market? Maybe an anti-Goldman move - something that would show the public that the bank has a heart after all. Thus was born a Grinch moment: Citigroup will suspend foreclosures for 30 days.
At the end of my second-favorite Christmas special of all time ("A Charlie Brown Christmas" takes the #1 spot), the Grinch, whose "heart was two sizes too small," realizes the true meaning of Christmas. "And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day."
The suspension, which begins tomorrow and stays in effect through January 17th, will affect approximately 4,000 homeowners. The bank noted that it wanted to provide relief to beleaguered households during the holidays. Of course, instead of going through the foreclosure process, now people have to worry about going through it, but that's not part of the story.
What Citigroup wants us to know is that although the bank has only modified a few hundred mortgages as of last month, it really cares! At least for 30 whole days, Citi's heart will remain three sizes larger. After that, look out Whoville!
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