Well, apparently, after a phone call (a.k.a. campaign contribution) from the Commissioner of the PGA Tour, Barney Frank has softened his stance on the sponsorships, while remaining "skeptical" of their benefit. Anyone who might have thought the capital injection was necessary to unfreeze credit markets should plainly be able to see at this point that the medicine is far worse than the disease. Congressman of the worst breed are acting as marketing directors for banks, deciding which advertising expenditures are justified.
The bright spot in all this is that, one by one, banks are seeing the endgame, and are rushing to pay back the TARP money, eager to get out from under Barney Frank's thumb. As the article states, after a stern letter from Barney, Northern Trust announced they would return the $1.5 billion they received from the government, which they did not need or want in the first place. Good for them. I hope BB&T follows suit.
If you want to see where our government is headed in terms of its involvement in business, I think this quote from the esteemed Congressman says it all:
I'm not ruling out sponsorship, especially since tournaments support charities. But the entertainment aspect is problematic.I cannot express how deeply I want to see a galactic bikini-clad Carrie Fisher strangle him to death with a metal chain during a Congressional hearing. God, that would be cathartic.