No, thank you — that’s not on my Christmas list.

Just days after procuring a $326 billion bailout and $20 billion capital injection from the federal government, just a week after divulging its intention to lay off 52,000 workers, Citigroup is publicly confirming and remaining steadfast in its plan to pay $400 million for naming rights to the New York Mets’ new baseball stadium.

Perhaps I’m biased because I’m a lifelong fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, but I sure as heck do not want my money spent on a giant sign at a Major League Baseball park, and if I were one of the 52,000 Citigroup employees facing a rougher 2009, I’d be absolutely livid.

I don’t get it, though — the aforementioned Reuters piece in which Citi confirms its deal with the Mets was published last Friday. We’ve been talking every day since then about the use of private aircraft by executives at the “Big Three” automakers in the wake of their pleas for a $25 billion bailout, yet we’ve heard next to nothing about Citi’s $326 billion dollar take and intention to pay $400 million for naming rights to Citi Field.

To me, this is all the more reason for government to get out of the banking business and the business of business in general, this is all the more reason to not bail anybody out, and the argument that Citi is simply “too big to fail” just doesn’t fly with me. Not if the company refuses to change its habits.

Listen, after a fairly personal explanation of our own financial situation, urging from readers and careful, introspective deliberation on my part, I put up a mechanism here at America’s Right by which readers can make a contribution should they wish. What Citigroup wants to do with even a small percentage of the taxpayer-funded bailout money is essentially the equivalent of me taking those generous contributions and buying myself a new Ralph Lauren suit when the few suits I already have fit me just fine. Any contributions I do receive–thank you, by the way–go to things like diapers, food, energy bills, and so on and so forth. I wouldn’t think to do otherwise.

In our house, we’ve been forced to change our spending habits, change our priorities, and scrutinize each and every purchase made with our limited funds. We don’t go out to dinner, save for special occasions. We buy our groceries at a Wal-Mart Supercenter and at a discount supermarket. We buy in bulk and freeze, freeze, freeze. We shut off the lights when we leave the room, and turn down the heat when we leave the house. We’ve seen the difference in money coming in and money going out, we’ve adjusted as much as we can. I expect the same from Citigroup and any other responsible company facing hard times.

While $400 million may be just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the bailout as a whole, $326 billion works out to be about $1000 from every living American man, woman and child and, if it going to be given to Citi at all, Citi should use that money responsibly and ensure it goes toward restructuring and solutions for the long term — that being said, spending $400 million for stadium naming rights just doesn’t seem like a good cost-benefit trade-off.

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Comments

  1. goddessdivine says:

    What? Expect our govt and businesses to do the same? Absurd. ;-)

    Yeah, heaven forbid that our elected officials and govt should live within their means like we are. Unbelievable.

  2. Lisa says:

    I’m shocked… but I shouldn’t be. This seems to be the norm these days. The government bails out these companies with our tax dollars then that money is spent on spa vacations, private jets and baseball stadiums. Maybe we all should stop paying taxes in protest. You know…congress wants to see a “business plan” before bailing out the auto industry. I want to see a business plan before I give any more of my money to the feds. The feds are spending our money even more irresponsibly than these companies are.

    BTW…I’m an Angels fan… so I could really care less about what the stupid Mets call thier stadium. I want my $1000 this is costing me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “The feds are spending our money even more irresponsibly than these companies are.”

    I work two full-time jobs, never a day off, trying to support my family.

    Why am I being made to support corrupt businesses so they can waste my hard earn money?

    Oh’ that’s the whole point, it’s my hard earned money here that they are wasting!

    Boycott paying taxes! That will force businesses to become successful and put an end to government wasteful spending practices…

  4. LAPTOPLIZARD, Jackson TN says:

    While $400 million may be just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the bailout as a whole…

    Jeff this is the part that irks me the most! $400 Million?….A drop for them yes but that figure in MY pocket or yours for that matter would provide Finacial Security for Myself and mine and several generations to come. Given it was used wisely that is.

    I read an article although I cant remember where a few days ago about the soft drink industry and how so many had failed and only the stronger ones survived…I dont want to see out auto industry fail, nor do I want to “bail them out”. IMO ALL the Govt should do is maybe pick up the costs to the industry that are related to those that are retired from it. Help them eliminate the 2K extra on each car they build and help them in that way become more competitive. Dont just give a fish…teach them TO fish.

    It seems odd to me that the “Bailout” was supposed to help the banks…and now every Tom, Dick and Harry are coming out with hands outstrecthed? This is crazy to say the least.

    Someone please request $400 million for me and mine, Which I will split with Jeff and we will both be Secure for a few generations to come.

    And Jeff, please remember that not all of us old hippies are tree hugging whiners, at least one is your friend…LOL. The video was funny and sickening at the same time and I saw at least one young lady that wasnt anywhere close to being old enough to even claim Hippie status…LOL. And I do know a lot of them are LOONS these days but not all of US are.

    Good day to all…Jeff for POTUS !

  5. TonyV says:

    I expected more insight from a legal writer and law student in commenting on the public commitment of Citigroup (the parent company of the banks) to honor its two-year-old contract for 20-year naming rights on the new Mets stadium. Would you expect Citigroup to announce publicly that it would breach the contract?

    As the linked Reuters report notes, DHL (another MLB sponsor) is attempting to negotiate early termination of its sponsorship agreement. Citigroup may be doing the same thing behind the scenes. The real issue is relative cost. In the current economic climate, the Mets may be unable to replace the 20-year $400 million commitment of Citigroup. If that were to be the case, repudiation of the contract would expose Citigroup to $400 million in damages to the Mets (perhaps discounted to present value) with no commensurate benefit (the naming rights) in return.

    We don’t know the terms of the deal. It could be $20 million per year for 20 years, or it could be front-end-loaded with a “down payment” and a lower annual cost. In any event, you should be asking whether the deal makes good economic sense as an advertising expense, even in the current circumstances, measured against Citigroup’s other advertising campaigns in the print and electronic media and the cost of any early termination of the deal.

  6. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Of course, you’re right, Tony.

    However, there must be some sort of termination clause in there (I’ve seen them in other contracts) which will inevitably be cheaper than going forth with the deal.

    Again, it’s not so much the money itself as it is the principle of the thing.

    Jeff

  7. Anonymous says:

    Please do not disparage a company that would not be in this mess if the government had done its job in the first place. I, for one, prefer to do business with companies that have a name and advertise it. Prior to this economic mess no one cared how corporate executives traveled, how they rewarded top sales producers, or their methods of getting name recognition.

    Government failure has now forced us to dictate to the coprorations how they do business. It makes me sad.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A video about Obama, a must see!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SageuO46rzI

  9. Anonymous says:

    Stadiums receive national coverage and names on stadiums are “solid” even if the newspapers etc have disparaged them. If Citicorp is to continue then these advertising dollars will affect the minds of the un-newsed customers, and their patronage could make all the difference. Less bailout money needed.
    Besides.. don’t you believe in redistributing the wealth? MLB is subsidized in many ways and usually it comes back in taxes collected on the businesses around the stadium.
    Roses,WA

  10. Anonymous says:

    Proverbs14:34
    Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin [is] a reproach to any people.

    May the good Lord have mercy on these clowns of trickery…

    Troubleshooter

  11. Anonymous says:
  12. ~Jennifer~ says:

    lol at goddessdivine- you’re so right!

    we have to balance our budget and our checkbook, and the irs will come after me if i don’t pay my taxes, but who comes after the government when they do foolish things with money they take from me?

  13. larry walker says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Jeff!

    Thanks for feeding me the news. I don’t even watch the MSM anymore since they refuse to report the real news. Thanks especially for all your hard work in following Berg v Obama.

  14. Anonymous says:

    You guys really need to read Dick Morris’ new book “Fleeced.” It makes this issue with the $400 million seem like nickels and dimes…

  15. kk says:

    An Anonymous gave the link to a story. Below is an excerpt. Huh? They already KNOW the Big 3 is getting a bailout? Who says?

    “According to the president of GM Brazil-Mercosur, Jaime Ardila, the funding will come from the package of financial aid that the manufacturer will receive from the U.S. government and will be used to “complete the renovation of the line of products up to 2012.”

  16. Anonymous says:

    Citi’s 400 Million dollar marketing plan is sickening, and that fact that Our government is allowing it to occur is sickening. But what is beyond sickening, falling into the category of food-poisoning nauseating. You know the kind of profuse vomiting accompanied by a fever, a cold sweat and uncontrollable chills, is that Americans seem to already be use to it.

    I hear comments all around the net. “It figures!” “What did you expect?” “That’s our government for you.” “That’s Corporate America.”

    To me, these comments are even more nauseating, if that could even be possible. Since WHEN did America become a nation where we all throw our hands up and make jokes when our freedom, liberty, retirement and children’s future hang in the balance.

    We are at WAR people! I am not talking about the war in Iraq. I am talking about the war right here in our own Country. Soldier’s in fox holes don’t crack jokes when the enemy is shooting at them. They don’t chuckle when a grenade falls in the fox hole and say, “we knew it was going to happen eventually, we might as well just stay here and get blown to pieces.” Yet, that is what more and more Americans seem to be doing EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    And that something is nothing! They b*tch and moan and surf the net to find the latest updates on Presidential Eligibility Lawsuits and Bush Pardons and go to work the next day and b*tch about the high price of gas and their health insurance premiums and their 50 hour work week and the cost of their kid braces and then….that’s it!

    Do they write their congressman? No. Do they write the Supreme Court Judges? No. Do they join a Grassroots group? No. To they organize others in their community? No.

    They sit back and wait for OTHERS to do it. Then they b*tch about the results when no one else does.

    I’m really, really sick of it! I’m food-poisoning nauseated that most Americans talk the talk, but DON’T walk the walk and expect things will just miraculously change for the better. They WON’T!! We MUST realize this NOW, before it’s too late!!

    Our Founding Fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they could see how complacent we have become and how much we take our freedom for granted.

    When will American’s learn that if we don’t spend the time and energy into fighting to take back our Country NOW, there will be no Country left to take back in the future. And, it will be the NEAR future, I guarantee you! If we continue on the path that we are on, we will see the demise of this Country in our lifetime.

    So, turn off the idiot box, put down the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, cancel that three day weekend and start taking action.

    Do something…ANYTHING! There are many like-minded people across this country that refuses to throw up their hands, so get off your ass and go find them.

    Looking for a place, I really like this one, http://www.wethepeopleusa.ning.com. It’s only a few weeks old and there are over 400 members.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The Phillies last team to integrate, most vehement, spitting manager to express race-hate against Jackie Robinson ever…no wonder you support them…line that up with a commitment to Auburn and a trumped up birth cert focus on the president-elect, and the right-thinking among us understnad you all too well…

    Glad your way of life is losing; looking forward to saving your kind from themselves in the decades to come.

  18. Luke Sanderlin says:

    jeff,
    We’ll just have to see whar Wells Fargo does witht the wachovia center once the merger is finalized. That hits us here at home.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The great bumper sticker (for all banks that pile up in the line for bailout):
    “No bank left behind”

  20. Anonymous says:

    If the true figure for the bailout is $7.4 trillion, then my family of five’s share is almost $125,000. Our taxes have been running 10-12k per year, but after the child tax credit expires, jack that up by another $2100. So it will take us 8-10 years just to pay off that debt if, by the grace of God, the job continues. That doesn’t cover whatever Obama is planning on spending on his UnCivil Offense Force, and feeding Big Brother.

    As Thanksgiving approaches, my list of things for which to thank the Lord is getting more basic by the day. “Thank God it’s a free country,” is the next thing to go.

  21. toto says:

    I know this has been said before, so it isn’t something brilliant from my part, but, if the auto industry is required to show some business plan prior to any money, than how is the banks don’t have to. I would think that $400 million for naming rights isn’t something that makes any sense to me. How many jobs are we talking about within the banking industry, as compared to the auto industry?

    It really saddens me to think that the government finds it within itself to bail out industry, and industry, its totally against what this country has always been. If the companies can’t come up with a plan to survive, than they should go by the way side. Having said that, I really wouldn’t have a huge problem with a bail out for the auto industry necessarily, but on the other hand, perhaps, if we didn’t, it would give the auto industry the chance to do what they’ve wanted to do for years, and thats get rid of the unions. I’m not against unions per se, but when it encumbers an industry so much, they can’t survive, than something needs to be done.

    I don’t blame the unions entirely, I blame management as well, but I also bring the MSM into this, as they haven’t said anything good about the domestic auto industry for years. When was the last time you picked up an article about autos, and it was totally positive about any one the domestic vehicles? I have been in the auto industry for 25 years now, and I can tell you, the biggest problem I run into is perception, and that perception comes from what people read, and the biggest culprit is Consumers Report Magazine, they love imports, and yet they say they have no bias?!?

    Again, I’m not for a bail out, but when it comes to 3 million jobs, something needs to be done.

  22. wendyworn says:

    Excellent connection!

    [...]Did you know that your hard-earned tax dollars are going to the naming of sports stadium to the tune of 400 million dollars![…}

  23. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I think the Govt. should withdraw every cent they have put into the Citi bailout. If they can afford to spend $400 million like that, they don’t need a bailout.

  24. John says:

    Forget separation of Church and State. We need absolute separation of business and state!

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