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Was Bartiromo’s Relationship — And $50,000 Flight — With Citigroup Exec An Ethics Violation?

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A helpful recap of the burgeoning “Money Honey” scandal, via TVNewser:

  • The New York Times Tuesday: Citigroup global wealth management head Todd Thomson is ousted over concerns about Thomson’s “use of Citigroup corporate jets, including at least one occasion when he used the jet to ferry Maria Bartiromo, a correspondent for CNBC, to an event in Asia.”

  • Via the Post: The flight cost Citigroup $50,000: “A CNBC spokesman said that Bartiromo only paid ‘prevailing commercial rates’ for her seat, approximately $3,000 to $4,000… Bartiromo sought and received approval in advance before hopping the pricey flight on one of Citi’s jets, which gave her an opportunity for ‘source development.’”
  • Via Marketwatch today: “Now come reports that recently ousted wealth management chief Todd Thomson was providing air transportation, and perhaps something more, to CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo. Thomson appears to have created a money honey division inside the company — creating a TV show and, apparently, a travel agency.”
  • So, did Bartiromo commit an ethics violation?

    Experts said one could argue that the plane ride gave Bartiromo access to a powerful figure at Citigroup, much the way White House reporters may have access to the U.S. president by flying on Air Force One.

    EARLIER:

  • $50,000 For ‘Money Honey’ Ride
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