It's an old adage that money makes people do crazy things sometimes. Unfortunately, WWE Superstar John Bradshaw Layfield and his wife Meredith Whitney are finding this out the hard way.
On Thursday, Whitney, a financial services analyst and Fox Business Channel contributor, recommended a "sell" rating for Citigroup, the global banking giant, which, simply put, means that she's recommending to stockholders that they sell their shares in the company.
A "sell" rating from such a well-respected analyst as Whitney shook Citigroup's stock to the core. The market capitalization of the company, which has been rocked lately by the subprime-mortgage crisis, dropped an estimated $15 billion, and, according to the Wall Street Journal, the company's chairman and CEO, Charles Prince, plans to tender his resignation effective Sunday.
"I'm proud of Meredith for what she did," said Layfield. "She stuck her neck out and told the truth. After all, she has to be honest with her investors, which a lot of analysts won't do for fear of upsetting the wrong people."
In the rough and tumble world of Wall Street, where fortunes may be earned and burned on a whisper, such a downturn, however, can send shockwaves of fear and anger through the investment community. Sure enough, shortly after the reverberations were felt, a few incensed investors emailed and phoned Whitney, leaving her threatening messages. As one might imagine, such behavior didn't sit quite so well with JBL.
"I think whoever would threaten the life of a woman is a cowardly piece of s***," fumed the SmackDown announcer, who canceled a planned trip to Texas so that he could be with his wife in New York City. "Meredith said she'd be fine and wanted me to visit my folks, but when someone threatens your wife, it's not a good idea to leave her."
Layfield, also a contributor to the Fox Business Channel, confirmed that law enforcement has been pursuing leads, but admitted the whole incident still leaves him somewhat ill-at-ease.
"Meredith will be fine, of course," explained Layfield. "I'm just worried about one of these cowards unexpectedly running into her on the street and verbally accosting her."
Layfield, who has been married to Whitney since February 2005, assured WWE.com that if he were to ever run across one of the persons who threatened his wife, it would not be a pretty sight.
"I would hope that anyone who would threaten my wife would try to get physical with me," said Layfield, obviously angered at the mere idea, "because, believe me, I wouldn't hesitate in the least."