February 25th, 2009
11:00 AM ET
6 years ago

Bailed-out bank enjoys concerts, dinners, parties

Northern Trust sponsored a Professional Golf Association tournament and associated client events.
Northern Trust sponsored a Professional Golf Association tournament and associated client events.

(CNN) - A bank that received $1.6 billion dollars of the government's bailout money sponsored what reports are calling a lavish series of events in Los Angeles, California, last weekend.

Watch: Bailed-out bank has a blowout

Northern Trust, based in Chicago, Illinois, spent an undisclosed amount of money sponsoring a Professional Golf Association tournament and associated client events, including concerts, dinners and parties, according to celebrity Web site TMZ.com.

The bank spent millions of dollars on the event, which included - on top of the sponsorship costs of the Northern Trust Open tournament - concerts by Sheryl Crow and Earth Wind & Fire, a private party at music venue House of Blues and gift bags from Tiffany & Co., the Web site said.

According to TMZ.com's report, employees and clients attending the tournament dined on seared salmon and petite Angus filet and stayed at some of Los Angeles' most elegant and expensive hotels.

Doug Holt, senior vice president of communication for Northern Trust, confirmed to CNN that his bank sponsored the tournament and its events but, he said, not at taxpayer expense.

Full story


Filed under: TARP
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. Todd

    Even if this was planned ahead of time, should we not see what Mr. Obama's idea of "punishing" those who spend that money unwisely at this time? Of course, being a bank from Chicago, I doubt that he'll even make a comment regarding this one!

    February 25, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. JJ

    If you took the money it belong to taxpayers, so give back the $1.6 millions. If you took the money then you shoulda coulda not had so big events and tried to get away with it fools. Give back the money.

    February 25, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. charzie

    More of the same; same old, same old. Any "bank" that has profits to spare in throwing lavish parties has no business asking for bailout money given by the taxpayers who some, most likely, have NEVER even had a modest "McDonald's – type " party for themselves because they simply can't afford it. It would have to come out of their own pocket to entertain their friends, no "gift cash" coming their way to assist with plans/events. I predict we see more suicides coming out of the banking world over this year and next. Some of these execs simply cannot live week-to-week without massive amounts of personal cash to live the uppity life. The well will soon go dry for them.... it may take awhile, but their day is coming. And way of life ending.

    February 25, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Dem from AZ

    Just as long as it is thier money and not tax payers money. I am ok with that. but if it is mixed in. I want to know. Our money should not be spent on things like that.

    February 25, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Matt

    I say we get a list of the banks that got Tarp money and go our selfs and get the money back. They stole it from us lets get what is ours

    February 25, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Flabbergasted

    Just how stupid are some of you people?

    As a few others have commented, Northern Trust took the money practically at the insistence of those fools in Washington. The healthy banks that had their arms twisted to take the money so that the government's little dog-and pony show would work have offered to return the money, but now the government will not allow it (despite the grandstanding antics of a few democratic senators who asked them to leave the money on the way out when they came to Washington to testify a week ago.).

    This class-envy crap spouted by these simpletons plays right into the hands of a government that wants to keep peopel poor and dependant. That's right, let's all hate the "evil" bankers now. Only the government can save you from this evil now. What a pile of horse crap.

    And for you "fine" americans that advocate taking all of your money out of banks and putting them in credit unions, do you know what the real difference between the two are? Credit unions don't have to pay taxes, while banks do. That's right, credit unions can undercut the rates of banks and line their pockets because they get to operate without paying any taxes to the government. Yet the same people that advocate credit unions are the first to mock tax cuts for small businesses and say they don't work. Are you people hypocritical, or just ignorant? I thought taxes were such a wonderful thing? Shouldn't your precious credit unions pay some?

    God help this country.

    February 25, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Carolyn Johansen

    Lavish parties–just think of all the people who got a paycheck out of it. It should come out of the paychecks of the CEO's who agreed to it. They get paid so much they would never miss it.

    February 25, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. again

    Baffled,
    I have been saying the same thing for almost a year now. Had they done this in the beginning, we would be out of this "recession" by now.
    Of course there would be no way for them to fund their pork projects if they gave it to the people who need it.

    February 25, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. S Callahan

    I guess Pres. Obama really didn't get it....people are really mad!

    February 25, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. tm

    This waste has got to stop!! The person authorizing this activity should be fired!!! Also, I think that Pelosie's trip, with her husband and a dozen of her closest friends (200K plane ride), to Italy is no different than the auto executives showing up on private planes to beg for money. Oversight needs to start at the top.

    February 25, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. Sam Sixpack

    Who, except the naïve, can believe the new stimulus is not also already speeding on its way to a select wealthy minority?

    Have not the wealthy always been so thanks to their successful exploitation of the poor?

    February 25, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Bankrupt

    Holt told CNN that Northern Trust did not seek the $1.6 billion but agreed to take it upon request by the government? Does Holt think we are all idiots? If the bank didn't need the money they should pay it back WITH INTEREST and stop complaining about the strings attached. Money is fungible so it is a lie to say the TARP funds were not used for these unseemly extravagant luxuries during a severe economic depression.

    February 25, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Michelle in Los Angeles

    Northern Trust should have to pay back the entire 1.6 Billion immediately. I do not care, and it makes no difference if they asked for it or not.

    There is NO EXCUSE for such elaborate spending in todays times. If they did not need the money, they should have invested it better than just Throwing it away for one night or weekend. I bet there are some people/small businesses that want some loans that they could have given that money to and saved Hundreds of Jobs.

    SILLY of ANYONE to THINK they DID NOTHING WRONG – OBVIOUSLY DISCONNECTED From what is going on.

    February 25, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Steve

    I agree that there is a significant perception problem for a bank that accepts taxpayer money to stay solvent to hold these types of events. But we shouldn't forget that, in the end, these are INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES that need to market themselves to hopefully grow their businesses. You can't expect them to not compete – I think that whomever organized these types of events think carefully about the perception, but we all need to recognize the fact that this is really only a problem of perception.

    February 25, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. wakeupamerica

    Make them give us our money back and pay a hefty fine or penalty. Then, throw their you know what's in jail.

    February 25, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Irene

    This is why the GOP will continue to lose elections. Everybody knows that these bank and Wall Street Execs are all right wing loonies. They are greedy, self righteous, and don't think twice about stealing from their customers, the taxpayers, from our government. They should all do jail time with their buddies at Bush and Co. No Bank should recieve one more dime until they start making loans again. Enough is enough already. These guys have had a free ride for far too long and it's time we took back from them what is rightfully ours.

    February 25, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    O what a tangled web we weave when the Government bailouts out the private sector, if you think these abuses are bad, just think of all the abuse that goes unnoticed.
    I seem to remember even in our Government agencies allocations of drug use, prostitution, with large traveling junkets to party with the oil executives.
    You see we the people are being had here by those who are supposed to be in leadership positions in the Government, Wall Street and in banking. This is the beginning of a serious class war. There are too many rich people charged with over seeing other rich people.
    It is the old saying the fox is watching the hen house, and “we the people” are the hens.

    February 25, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. texas teacher

    And these Fat Cat bozos believe that they are perfectly in their right to do whatever they want to do... even if it is rewarding themselves for making this mess we are in! Bush is gone... Wall Street... get over it... or better yet... get over yourselves!

    February 25, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Please CNN do not censor me again?

    O what a tangled web we weave when the Government bailouts out the private sector, if you think these abuses are bad, just think of all the abuse that goes unnoticed.
    I seem to remember even in our Government agencies allocations of drug use, prostitution, with large traveling junkets to party with the oil executives.
    You see we the people are being had here by those who are supposed to be in leadership positions in the Government, Wall Street and in banking. This is the beginning of a series class war there are too many rich people charged with over seeing other rich people.
    It is the old saying the fox is watching the hen house, and “we the people” are the hens.

    February 25, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. ceres

    Outrageous... I say take back all the money that was given to them.

    February 25, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    BUSHCO gave the banks and Wall St boatloads of OUR money with so much as a piece of dental floss attached to it.

    And absolutely NO oversight whatsoever. Now they still feel entitled to do whatever they want and no penalties whatsoever

    Now there are large strings and oversight and the bannkers and Wall St still don't get it. The sheer arrogance of these clowns is breathtaking to say the least! Just put those who abuse the system in jail, Voila! Changed attitudes!

    If this was a real business trip, there must be accounting for all the expenses, but it just doesn't smell right!!.

    February 25, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Caligirl

    martin February 25th, 2009 11:43 am ET

    Obama says these bailouts are necessary! They're so depressed they gotta take hard earned American taxpayer dollars so they can have parties and listen to Sheryl Crow. That's the new Obama nation – a country where he pretends to help the little people, but in reality, screw the little people to help the big wigs.
    ___________________________________________________

    Now Martin. Please don't go blaming Obama for what Bush pushed through before he left office. Let's be realistic and honest.

    February 25, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. rena

    I don't think they should get any money at all. They need to arrest every last one of them in the higher positions starting with the CEO.

    If this was the average American stealing and robbing people and taking their lively-hood, they would be in prison serving time. But I forgot this the roe dogs for Washington, they are what kept them a float and lined their pockets.

    Gold figure!!!

    February 25, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    But but but...trickle down economics is supposed to work!!! We're supposed to trust corporate America to be responsive to the will of the consumers and spend money wisely and make prudent decisions!!! What a load of malarcky the GOP is selling.

    February 25, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Linda Lawrence

    Government must demand the money back; also collect a 10% user's fee. Our country needs the money that was just squandered.

    February 25, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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