The Big Banks aren’t smiling these days and the Wall Street Journal is revamping their headshot depictions to keep up with the mood.

It’s been an especially rough year for Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citigroup. Since he took over the reigns of embattled Citi in December, the company has lost 50% of its value and accumulated $45 billion in losses.

Even though Citi’s stock has dipped below a dirt cheap $15, many people still aren’t buying because of the mess Vikram is getting himself into. (For one thing, that new ‘Citi is full of insomniacs’ slogan isn’t working)

Problems really began for Citi back in October when former CEO Chuck Prince got called out big time by a little known biz babe analyst, Meredith Whitney. Pandit replaced Prince and things were nice and jovial for him for a while. Pandit’s fresh-faced optimism and happy elf demeanor pointed toward a bright future for Citi.

However, those dreams die slowly. Next came a reshuffling of the business accompanies by major layoffs (causing us to quote Jefferson Starship lyrics. Rock on!). And now as things continue to look dismal for Citi (and the entire financial sector, to be honest), the WSJ is implementing these scowl-faced drawings to better reflect the dire times on the Street. At least they aren’t as bad as Fox News’ new caricature techniques.

If the Wall Street Journal is taking these actions to ‘show how screwed we are’, what will be next? Will the very money lost during this downturn need to better reflect the Street’s frustration as well as the worried consumer? This seems appropriate, right?

Even Walmart is getting in on this game. Anyone else think the new logo actually depicts a constricted sphincter looking to keep its money tight?

BusinessSheet: WSJ Redraws Headshots To Reflect Dour Financial Mood, July 16, 2008