WFC: Reality Check

Wells Fargo cancels Las Vegas events


Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), which received $25 billion from the government's bank bailout program four months ago, said it had canceled employee events in Las Vegas after a report saying it had booked expensive hotels.

The move came after the Associated Press said the bank had booked 12 nights at the Wynn Las Vegas (WYNN.O) and the Encore Las Vegas, two of that city's more upscale hotels, as part of a conference for top mortgage officials.

Wells Fargo had also been planning a 3-day meeting starting on Feb. 25 for 40 insurance employees at another high-end hotel, the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's website.

The bank issued a statement saying it had canceled events, although it was not immediately clear when these were planned for. Wells Fargo was immediately available for comment.

"We had scaled back the mortgage event, but in light of the current environment, we have now decided to cancel this event as well. We do not plan to have any other recognition events this year," it said in a statement.

The bank, however, defended such events as part of its culture, and said the Associated Press report was misleading.

"The event is not a 'junket' for executives but a four-day business meeting and recognition event for hard-working team members who made homeownership achievable and sustainable for borrowers across the nation," it said.

Comment: Since I've been asked about this by several relatives I will briefly comment.

  • The so-called "bailout" money was the Government buying dividend paying preferred stock in WFC.
  • Preferred stock pays interest to the government (like a bond) &
  • Preferred stock dividends pay out before common stock dividends. I have XXX shares of WFC stock that pay dividends. I will never see those dividends until after WFC pays the government preferred dividends.
  • Rewards for sales people is a part of every sales culture in America.
  • I'm in IT not sales but I used to sell computers for IBM and later DEC. When I had a great year (I had some stinkers too!) I would get a trip. So what. The salesmen earn it.
  • If it were in Toledo, or Green Bay no one would be complaining. Do you know it is less expensive to fly people to Las Vegas than to Toledo or Green Bay.

CNN and the other main stream media outlets did a great disservice by giving "half-truths" (a form of a lie!). But it doesn't surprise me. Also reports like this take the focus off Dems that don't pay taxes or pork-laiden wasteful government spending. My 2 cents.


  1. I agree about the whole half truth thing. But actually, it probably is more poor journalism. They want a quick story and don't bother uncovering the whole truth that makes the trip make sense. Kindof like when the big three flew to DC. More than likely they had to fly on the company jet. I know of a couple companies here in the Twin Cities that the CEO has no other choice but fly the company jet, even on personal vacations. There are probably multiple reasons for this, security, ease of flying him back in an emergency.

  2. The guy at TigerHawk blog seems to agree: http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2009/02/do-not-pick-on-wells-fargo-for-vegas.html


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