But due largely to its dealings in subprime mortgage loans and consolidated debt obligations, Citigroup ultimately received $476 billion in cash and financial guarantees saving the too-big-to-fail Wall Street bank from bankruptcy.
Today, it is even bigger than before and poses a greater systemic risk to the nation's economy.
Its corruptive special-interest reach on Capitol Hill continues, too, as its PAC campaign contributions still buy silence as to its wrongdoing as well as compels members of Congress to press for further deregulation.
And there is no greater example of this wanton influence than Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.
Capito acquired a position on the House Financial Services Committee despite her husband's position, at the time, as a Citigroup Salomon Smith Barney executive.
The blatant conflict of interest becomes apparent when considering the fact that the committee is charged with the regulatory oversight of the nation's banks and they still refuse to disclose her husband's three bank salaries.
Rather than place their investments into a blind trust, the Capitos, along with her chief of staff, during the financial crisis actively traded in Citigroup stock, making them subject to investigative reports and even a book on insider trading.
So in 2008, when millions of Americans were economically devastated due to no fault of their own, Capito and her husband managed to realize a capital gain of up to $50,000 in Citigroup stock trades.
In the meantime, Citigroup's continued mismanagement has resulted in its credit rating being downgraded again to Baa2, two steps from junk grade.
Swint, a commercial property broker in Charleston, is the Democratic nominee for West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District seat.