Citigroup Inc., under pressure from the federal government, took a big step toward breaking up the financial supermarket, entering discussions to spin off its Smith Barney brokerage unit into a joint venture with rival Morgan Stanley, according to people familiar with the talks. News of the talks, which could result in an agreement as soon as next week, surfaced Friday afternoon as former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, 70, a senior counselor and director at Citigroup, announced his retirement from the New York company.
Seattle's oldest newspaper put up for sale
Hearst Corp. put Seattle's oldest newspaper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, up for sale Friday and said that if it can't find a buyer in the next 60 days the paper would likely close or continue to exist only online. If it does become an Internet-only operation, the Post-Intelligencer would have a "greatly reduced staff," Hearst said in a prepared statement. Hearst also owns TV stations, other newspapers and magazines. "In no case will Hearst continue to publish the P-I in printed form" once the 60 days are up, Hearst said. Steve Swartz, the head of Hearst's newspaper division, broke the news to employees in a meeting Friday.