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Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat

CNN: Does the oil meltdown signal economic trouble ahead?

Crude oil's sudden meltdown could be nothing to worry about. Or it could be a sign that the world economy is sick.The abrupt bear market in oil prices may have been sparked by a sharp drop-off in demand for energy, which powers the economy. 

Investors were similarly spooked by oil's last major selloff, in late 2015 and early 2016. That dive to $26 a barrel led some to fear an imminent recession. That proved to be a false alarm.

"There are shades of this that remind me of the latter part of 2015," Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat said on Wednesday."The question today is: Is oil again pretending to be that canary in the coal mine around slower global growth?" Corbat said while speaking at the Economic Club of New York. "Because if you look at supply-demand figures, nothing at all has materially changed in the last week or two."

American Banker: 'There is likely to be some pain': Citi’s Corbat on nonbank lending

Speaking at an event in New York, Corbat said that U.S. companies are mostly in good financial shape, thanks in large part to the corporate tax cuts, which left them flush with cash and in a better position to pay off debt. Still, hedge funds and other nonbank firms have recently increased lending to risky companies — and they could be hurt by problem loans if the economy takes a turn for the worse.