MORNING LINE: Wells Fargo cancels Strip junket: Can Vegas afford all this good judgment?


Suddenly, Wells Fargo is a prudent corporate citizen. Wells Fargo executives were compelled to cancel their ritzy casino junket to Las Vegas after it was made public. The banking giant scooped up $25 billion in last year’s federal bailout.

Notes The Wall Street Journal: “Wells Fargo, which received $25 billion last year from the U.S. Treasury, had been planning to host its top mortgage officers this month at the Wynn Las Vegas and the Encore Las Vegas, two high-priced hotel and casinos. The Associated Press disclosed plans for the event Tuesday.”

“Initially, a spokesman for Wells Fargo said in a statement, the bank wasn't going to back away from holding the conference. Just hours later, as television networks and bloggers pummeled the bank, Wells Fargo began backpedaling.”

“First, a spokesman asked journalists to ‘disregard the earlier statement. Then the bank put out a new release about the cancellation of the event, which it said was not a ‘junket’ but a ‘meeting and recognition event for the hard-working team members who made homeownership achievable and sustainable for borrowers across the nation.’”

In keeping with my long held belief that what’s good for America is often bad for Las Vegas, I think we really have to be careful about the way we treat this subject. Too much good judgment is always bad for a casino’s bottom line.