Vegas’s loss is San Francisco’s gain

After President Barack Obama Monday told an Indiana audience that companies should “not give out these big bonuses until you’ve paid taxpayers back. You can’t get corporate jets — (applause) — you can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime,” the investment bank Goldman Sachs announced it was moving a conference from Las Vegas to San Francisco. (Update: here’s a link to information about the conference in question.)

Not because San Francisco is cheaper, because it’s not. No, money was “not the driving reason behind (the decision),” a spokesman said. “The decision to relocate the conference is based on our best efforts to operate according to the requirements of the new landscape of our industry.”

Goldman Sachs got $10 billion in the TARP bailout last fall. Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco, recently canceled a trip to Vegas for some of its employees. They received $25 billion. (The bank, not the employees.)

Now Las Vegas’s mayor is demanding an apology from Obama for implying there’s something wrong with going to Las Vegas. “What’s a better place, as I say, than for them to come here,” Oscar Goodman told a Las Vegas TV station. “And to change their mind and to go someplace else and to cancel — and at the suggestion of the president of the United States — that’s outrageous.”

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