February 10, 2009

What a Fool Believes

Following up on my lamentation of the injustices of gotcha journalism yesterday, I wanted to mention that there are some level heads out in the world. The Motley Fool takes a noncommittal stance on whether the Vegas event should have been canceled. But the Fool also points out a few things that the AP and Reuters and other wire reports fail to mention. To wit:

In fact, when the TARP funds were doled out last October, Wells Fargo made it clear that it (a) didn't need the money, (b) didn't want the money, and (c) found the entire bailout absurd to begin with. Nonetheless, the TARP funds were forced down its throat by then Treasury boss Hank Paulson.
Meanwhile, every article mentions that Wells Fargo lost $2.55 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008. Very few of these articles include the additional facts that unlike many competitors, the company posted a net profit for the year of $2.84 billion; they also closed the Wachovia deal and took a big hit in the Q4 numbers from that.

I normally don't blog about my company too much because, frankly, apart from the role I play I really don't know a lot about our industry. So now I'll shut it and just watch it unfold. I've said my peace and then some.


Blogless Troll said...

The bottom line is that, yes, it was in bad taste for Wells to plan a lavish recognition party while the economy was sinking into a dark abyss, but lumping every bank into the government-sucking fail pile is hardly fair. If there's one big bank that deserves to keep its corporate independence, it's Wells Fargo.

They're still equivocating here. Who says it's bad taste? You've already explained how these events inspire the work force to be more efficient, which only improves the bottom line, which is what the fiduciary duty of the company is in the first place… But ultimately it doesn’t matter how many level heads there are because that requires thinking and logic and our society runs on emotion.

Gotcha journalism is just a tool. The real problem is corruption. The entire argument for passing TARP falls apart if a major bank like WF doesn’t need it. How could an institution as big as WF escape the catastrophe unscathed if “nobody saw it coming”? Even the unthinking masses can see that and it exposes the corruption at the heart of this mess. And not exposing the corruption seems to be the main goal of all this, even now.

As far as WF goes, when the people are whipped up into an emotional frenzy the facts never matter. And the louder you shout them more people ignore you.

Robin B. said...

Just saw your post about this - and this post, of course.

AND - it also kills business in the hospitality industry- hotel workers, planners, caterers, etc.
It's a bad cascade, thsi caneceling of all events, notto mention it's simplistic and stupid.

writtenwyrdd said...

Interesting. Thanks for sharing!