“Golf, with its traditional fat-cat image, is an easy target for abuse, some of it deserved,” John Paul Newport writes in the Wall Street Journal. But the recent hubbub over Northern Trust’s sponsorship of a PGA tourney—that bank received $1.6 billion in TARP funds—threatens “effective business practices” and “the entire microeconomy of golf.” And the events weren’t “particularly lavish,” either.
The fat cats can find something else to do if banks who received public funds ratchet down their golf-related spending on clients, which they’re now doing left and right. Not so for the “20 guys who valet-park cars for minimum wage plus tips, the 15 cooks in the kitchen,” a guest at the event said. And the spending isn’t for nothing. “You've got to let businesses do what they know how to do best to make money,” the guest said.