By Joseph A. Giannone
NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley (MS.N), citing a tougher market and political environment, said on Wednesday it will not entertain clients and executives as part of a professional golf tournament it is sponsoring in June.
“We’ve canceled our participation in the event due to the environment,” a spokeswoman said, though she declined further comment.
On Tuesday, lawmakers railed against Northern Trust Corp [NTRS.O] amid reports the Chicago investment management company, which received a taxpayer-funded capital infusion last year, had hosted “lavish parties” at a Southern California golf tournament it sponsored.
Bonuses, perks and other spending by banks has become politically untenable as the U.S. government scrambles to revive the banking system.
Morgan Stanley will continue to sponsor the event from June 4 through June 7, “The Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley,” at a Dublin, Ohio, golf club. Typically, sponsorship deals are subject to contracts that are difficult, and expensive, to cancel.
The investment bank last fall received $10 billion from the Treasury as one of the first banks bolstered by the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said he will introduce a bill this week to end “extravagant spending practices of U.S. banks” that receive taxpayer bailouts.
He said he was prompted by a report that hundreds of Northern Trust clients and employees were flown in and put up in luxury hotels for the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Besides the golf, there were concerts by Sheryl Crow, Chicago, and Earth, Wind & Fire, it was reported. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)