The Chutzpah Of Wells Fargo

Ken AshfordCorporate Greed, Economy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

Campbell Brown:

(CNN) — Wells Fargo gets the "chutzpah" award for its PR counter attack. You may have heard about the bank's swanky Las Vegas trip that it had planned for its employees last weekend at two high-end casino resorts.

Keep in mind Wells Fargo took $25 billion in bailout money from taxpayers. It was only after The Associated Press broke the news that the annual getaway was still on, economic crisis be damned, that Wells Fargo, under public and government pressure, decided to cancel.

So, lesson learned? Not quite. This Sunday, Wells Fargo took out full-page newspaper ads in the New York Times and The Washington Post, by our calculation spending at least $200,000.

In the ads, Wells Fargo's CEO announced all of its big employee events for the year have now been canceled. He then blamed the media and said that our one-sided reporting on this subject makes every employee recognition event sound like a boondoggle. And that ultimately, our misleading reports have hurt Wells Fargo employees who deserve a pat on the back, and hurt the tourism industry since they aren't taking these trips anymore.

To which the reply can only be: Give me a break. This is really very simple: Taxpayers lent you $25 billion because of a national financial emergency. We don't think in the current environment you should be throwing lavish "thank you" parties. Period.

Yup.  Sometimes, I just don't think these bankers get it.