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In the News: 10 Banks Buy Out of TARP Scrutiny, Verizon Comps Taxi Rides in Marketing Stunt

Companies Under TARP Watch Shrink: Bank holding companies such as American Express, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley no longer have to worry about taxpayer scrutiny when planning corporate meetings and events. They're among the 10 large firms that the Obama administration allowed to repay the federal aid they received during the beginning of the financial crisis. Under the watch of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for the better part of 2009, the banks' travel expenses, bonuses, and sponsored events came under fire for the perceived misuse of public funds. [NYT]

Walmart Shareholder Meeting Still a Production: An ability to healthily navigate the recession thus far allowed Walmart to keep up appearances at its annual shareholder meeting earlier last week. A crowd of 15,000 gathered at the Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas, bright and early last Friday for a Ben Stiller-hosted show that included performances by Miley Cyrus and recent American Idol winner Kris Allen. [AdAge]

Verizon Plans Guerrilla Discounts to Promote Brand: For today only, Verizon rolled out a stunt marketing campaign in New York that treated lucky travelers to 99-cent cab rides in select Verizon-branded taxis. Part of a broader campaign to educate consumers about its prepaid cellular plans, the effort will also deploy a Mr. Softee ice cream truck in the coming weeks to surprise consumers with 99-cent snacks. [BrandWeek]

Non-Profits Suffering the Most in Economy:
Experts may be pointing to a light at the end of the recession tunnel, but one group with little optimism for speedy economic revival is the non-profit sector. Crain's reports that non-profits in New York have revealed drops in income between 10 and 70 percent so far this year, and the recession is forcing them to completely change their business models. Cutting costs while broadening the appeal of organizations and continuing relationships with existing donors has yet to prove successful for most—particularly arts and advocacy groups. [Crain's]


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