Despite Citigroup Inc.'s assurances this week that the New York company has a strong capital base and a vote of confidence Thursday from a major stakeholder, observers say the company may be running out of options.

One of the starkest signs of how quickly perception on Citi has changed is that just days ago, as it announced a new round of layoffs, observers still viewed the acquisition of a large U.S. depository institution as a likely next step. However, in a fast-paced and panicked market environment the company's shares have been severely punished in recent days, reducing its market cap; cutting into its deal currency; and planting the idea, once unimaginable, that a sale of the company could be on the table.

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