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

Bailed-out bank enjoys concerts, dinners, parties

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/25/bank.party/art.northern.trust.gi.jpg caption="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. obama-mama

    I don't think the banks should get any further help until they start lending. If they have the money to live a lavish lifestyle they should be made to repay the tarp money back. When you apply for a loan it seems that you have to get a colonoscopy before getting it.

    February 25, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. obama-mama

    Screw the banks. Everybody put your money in the credit unions.

    February 25, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Boston Irish

    Some people will never learn and they are rewarded with more bailouts. Disgusting and something should be done about it, but it doesn't look like anything is or will be in the near future.

    February 25, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Larry of Massachusetts

    Well. they are only following Nancy Pelosi's example when she took an Italian junket costing the taxpayers well over $400,000

    February 25, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. John

    If these guys took our tax dollars and then gave it away to a bunch of spoiled rich kids playing golf for millions of dollars, they should be put in jail and have their personal wealth confiscated to repay the American people.

    February 25, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Maggie

    It doesn't matter if they used taxpayer money or not. This is a luxury, not a necessity, and a blatant waste of money. If they can afford a shindig like that, then they didn't need the 1.6 billion dollars.

    Can they be arrested for misappropriation of funds or grand larceny?

    February 25, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. cjr

    Northern Trust???? Another sleazy financial institution! If you have investments there – pull them out! Obama – get the TARP back!

    February 25, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Sarahs cheerleader

    Maybe they need a run on their bank to bring about a little sobriety.

    February 25, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. martin

    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.

    February 25, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Chris

    No wonder our banks are in crisis. The people who run them just "don't get it." I cannot decide what their biggest problem is, lack of integrity or lack of intelligence.

    February 25, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. David Newport, OR

    Time to see what kind of cahones the Govt has...take the $$ back. Simply diverting $$ to spend on lavish events when you are accepting a bailout is 100% unacceptable. I have no problem bailing out a bank IF they show fiscal responsibility and actually start opening up lines of credit. IF they do not do both of these...demand the $$ back PLUS interest.

    February 25, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Anna

    I can't believe Sheryl Crow agreed to this.

    This is completely irresponsible. Even if you didn't ask for financial assistance from the government you should still behave in a responsible manner and help set an example for the direction all banks HAVE to go in this new era.

    February 25, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Jaz

    Here's my beef;
    My mortgage was sold to Citi Mortaging, 3 years or so ago. I've made my payments on time, even when it might mean eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a week at the end of the month. Now it appears they need help and were given quite a bit so far as I've seen. The last time I called to try and make adjustments to my mortgage to help me get my payments lowered after paying a large sum to reduce my principal balance.
    I was not given any substantial assistance with this and the irony was that I was speaking to a representative of Citi Mortgaging who was not even living here in the US. Hearing the President last night state that he wants to bring back US jobs, then I suggest we stop offering assistance to ANYONE who doesn't wish to bring those jobs back here.

    Jasmin Lind
    Madison, WI

    February 25, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Accountability

    Give the money back!

    February 25, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. baffled

    I think we are all missing something. If we want to help American people, then why haven't we created a bailout for the American people? There are approximately 304,000,000 Americans living in this country. Instead of spending hundrends of billions of dollars on the businesses and businessmen who are already loaded, why not give everyone in America $1 million dollars or so to pay off their debt (exclude the wealthy). If this was done, the mortgage crisis wouldn't exist and people would still have their homes. People would be able to pay down their debt and spend money in the economy.

    February 25, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. pj4521

    Take out every executive and ceo associated with this event and have a public stoning. The only way these bandits are going to learn that we have had enough is when they start paying with their blood.

    February 25, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Shari, NY

    So let us have some transparency as to where the funds actually came from! Even if funds were donated by the world's richest person, let us know so that there will be no speculation. I'm all ears.

    February 25, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. tim in carroll

    Dear Bank Idiots:

    If you have enough money to WASTE (YES! WASTE!) on lavish sponsorships and parties – THEN YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS ASKING THE GOVERNMENT – WHICH IS "US" THE TAXPAYER – FOR ANY BAILOUT MONEY!


    And the same goes for WELLS FARGO, who's CEO had the nerve to say that the junket they planned for their employees came out of their "profits"!


    People, it's time to stop doing business with bankers so ignorant and arrogant!!!

    February 25, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. eds

    Throw all these bankers in jail.
    They are crooks.
    a good re-use for Gitmo.

    February 25, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Jenn, Philadelphia

    If they had "extra" money for the sponorship, then they didn't need to borrow $1.6 billion from the government. When you borrow money from the government, there is no more distinction between bank money and tax-payer money.

    February 25, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Craig

    Not financed with Tax Payers money??? That just does not fly. What could that money have gone to that now has to be covered by bailout funds? I do not understand how the organizations receiving bailouts can possibly use that justification when the money they spend could be used instead of bailout money for regular operations.

    February 25, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. Roy

    I love their accounting:
    -Bailout money in Account A
    -Golf Outing paid from Account B

    What a travesty....you would think associates of bankers these days would judge them by their FRUGALNESS for responsibility, not how much money they can blow on a big event. Sheryl Crow and EWF should have realized the controversy of playing this event......and bowed out. Northern Trust should payback these monies to the government.

    February 25, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Sam Sixpack

    Why didn't anybody complain BEFORE the money was stolen?

    Furthermore, the Great American "Stimulus" Robbery is still in progress.

    Why wait until after the money is gone before reporting the theft?

    February 25, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Matthew, Detroit

    Barack complains about all the spending.

    He spent 95 million on his inauguration. Washington DC spent 14 million in that.

    No one complained about that spending.
    Northern Trust does NOT have a balance sheet issue. They were ASKED by the goverment to take the money even though they did not need it. They have done NOTHING wrong.

    Make congress take some cuts. All of them. Stop flying around.

    February 25, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. gary, gpp

    I want to know why the Repugnantcan senators from the south aren't raking these guys over the coals like they did the auto execs ?

    February 25, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10