So this is the way the great Citigroup SIV debacle ends: not with a bang but a whimper. From the start Citi seemed either delusional or dishonest about it’s SIVs, which at one point made up a quarter of the entire world of these off-and-on again balance sheet sleights of hand. Now Citi has revealed that it will finally kill the SIVs, buying their remaining $17.4 billion assets and putting them to rest once and for all.

Citi's shares are down 23% for the day, all the way down below $6.50. The company, in short, is getting absolutely crushed. Volume today has been almost twice the average. Institutional investors are no doubt cashing out. We imagine that Sheila Bair has to be on the phone with Citi chief executive Vikram Pandit today because she knows depositors are likely to panic when they see shareholders sell off this quickly.

What about the VIEs? (Another form of off-balance-sheet have-it-both-ways vehicle)

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