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Solving Citigroup’s PR Problem

Tuesday, 11 Aug 2009 | 8:24 PM ET

Don’t take Citigroup’s latest TARP report at face value, Cramer said Tuesday. The announcement was about more than just increased lending.

Cramer's Eureka Moment
Unlike other banks, Citigroup also has a Bair issue, as in Sheila Bair, with Mad Money host Jim Cramer.

Citi on Tuesday announced that its TARP-related lending programs have reached $50 billion. But it wasn’t the bank’s loans that caught Cramer’s attention. It was the public-relations push that he thinks Citigroup needs to escape Washington’s meddling.

The government will never sell its 34% stake in Citi if the bank’s situation doesn’t improve. Nor will FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair stop giving CEO Vikram Pandit the “evil eye.” But if President Obama and Bair see that Citigroup is on the mend, then the government pressure should ease.

Put simply, Cramer said, “It takes them off the Washington radar screen. And that gives us one more reason to buy Citigroup and speculate on the next big bank turnaround.”

Cramer put Citi into the same group as Bank of America , SLM Corp. and Huntington Bancshares , which he called “successful financial specs.” He urged investors to buy C now before the rest of the market catches on. Because as long as the company continues to telegraph its successes, then the government should back off. And that means the stock can go higher.

Cramer's charitable trust owns Bank of America.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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