*Tiger replaced by a… frog? Accenture, one of Tiger Woods’ major sponsors, announced that the golfing legend would be replaced in their future advertising by a surfboard-riding elephant, a leapfrogging frog and other computer-generated animals. This time their $50 million annual budget will be spent on images they can control. Can’t say I blame them.
*Does that include a private jet? The Wall Street Journal ran a feature last week on how much it would cost to nab a seat at this year’s Super Bowl. In their research, bidding site eBay.com scored both the cheapest resale (still a hefty $1,750) and the most expensive package—a private box whose “buy now” price was a staggering $373,750. And no, it did not include transportation to the game by a private jet.
*Even the IRS commissioner needs help. This shouldn’t surprise you, but in a recent interview, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Douglas Shulman says he doesn’t even try to fill out his own tax return. “I find the tax code complex,” Shulman said. When asked why he didn’t help make the tax laws less complex, the commissioner put the blame on Congress. “I don’t write the tax laws,” he replied.
*Barack Obama’s populist pandering. No doubt the president’s promise to “tax those darned banks” will get the support of many voters. But consider: Many of his targets, such as HSBC, never took any bailout funds. Others, such as Wells Fargo, only accepted because they were forced to… and paid back every penny as soon as they could. Of course, such political favorites as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the auto companies—which were the largest recipients of government funds—will be exempt from the special tax.