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Friday, February 13, 2009

Raking Over Associated Bank

Associated Bank is headquartered in Green Bay and is in hot water. According to this report by Dan Bice Associated Bank was sending 100 top performers to a resort in the Puerto Rico. Well once Bice's story got out the pressure on the bank was huge and forced to cancel the trip.

Jerry Bader today spent some time talking about this on his show. His take was Associated Bank is still a private entity and should be able to compensate/reward its employees as it sees fit. I am in agreement here. However, taking that money opens up a whole new set of concerns doesn't it? Associated Bank is still profitable (you are welcome) and needs to motivate its employees and retain top performers. Yes, the whole group is not going to up and quit but a few may, a few may lose some motivation. It is not cheap to replace an employee who is a good performer. Not only do you lose that performance, quite likely a competitor will get that employee. Then one has to consider the cost of hiring a new employee.

Callers suggested those taking social security and the like should now wonder if they will be dictated to. Possible, people on the dole (food stamps, welfare, etc) are dictated to based on the same thoughts. We are giving you charity for a basic survival not so you can eat fine food on our dime.

One of the problems is (and this is in general with the TARP) President Bush and his administration did a poor job of communicating what the purpose of the TARP is/was. My recollection is the banks were not even lending to each other and there are reports of a major run on the money markets back in September. If your foundation is weak and breaking down, replacing the broken window in your house is not a priority.