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. Joe

    You have to have some kind of marketing plan if you intend on selling a product or service.

    February 25, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    what did you exspect? something honorable? I agree with the first comment by obama-mama--

    February 25, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. AVEE capitalcityVA

    I agree with baffled why pay the American people. We don't even need a million dollars. Just half a mil, and do away with the credit bureaus. We need to let these banks fail. If Northern Trust didn't need the money, then Gov't need to take it back in full with interest.

    Just another Junkett of the Bush admin with their made up "the sky is falling" bailout for their banking buddies. I am so mad about this I could choke one of these CEOs. Banks get no benefit of the doubt if you took bailout money and have these little spending sprees and laying people off and foreclosing on homes.

    Let 'em all fail and burn in hell.

    February 25, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Bill, Alabama

    They just do not think, nor do they learn the lessons about how they got us into this mess because of greed in the first place.

    February 25, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Biased

    I am surprised this is even metnionned. I thought Chicago and Illinois were untouchables now since Obama hails from there and seems to want to go back for weekends occassionally. I thought everything from Chicago was done so perfectly since he has brought most of them to Washington with him.......

    February 25, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. suz

    The bankers in this country continue to live in an altered state of mind and reality. Reality check time, perhaps the best thing would be to allow some of these banks to fail. If we the American people are cutting back and are expected to get our own "houses" in order than they need to as well.

    I would suggest that the government demand the money back as it was not used for the purposes intended. The banks are like a bunch of cows at the feeding trough.....Except the buffet is over.

    February 25, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Kent

    We should recall the bailout money, which is in reality a loan. If this bank is unable or unwilling to payback the loan, we should take over foreclose on the bank, fire every executive down to the VP level, and give ownership of the bank to the employees.

    'Not done with taxpayer money'. Even a ten year old recognizes a crooked shell game. This is disgusting. I wonder how these people can look themselves in the mirror.

    Every patriotic American should pull out every penny they have deposited with this institution.

    February 25, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Ignorance

    Any word for Jindl and the republicans on this waste or irresponsible spending?

    February 25, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. max

    sounds like this bank is helping the economy more than the government. they are actually spending money in ways that help the economy...

    February 25, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Can we get these stooges to sponsor the little girl sitting next to Mrs. Obama with a college scholarship?

    Now that would be some good news all the way around!

    February 25, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Roy

    I'd like to find a frugal bank these days.......guess NORTHERN TRUST is not that one. I shoukl dtrust them with my money to spend on THIS GARBAGE?? Next they will spend millions to sponser the naming of a baseball stadium!!

    February 25, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Lia

    And yes, you can correct surmise that I work in the finacial industry. My company has acted responsibly, tried to do the right thing and has no exposure to TARP money thank god!

    February 25, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. It's Simple ...

    Take the Money back ... make an example ... no more rhetoric!

    February 25, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Alicia

    Why would they not behave this way!? Like duh, these are folks who got away with outrageous 'Let them Eat Cake' attitudes the last eight years.

    February 25, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. KH

    I wonder how many foreclosure notices this bank put in the mail while their exec's were out playing golf on the company's money. I wonder how many lay-off notices they sent out while they were eating their salmon.

    It's ironic that those that fear socialism the most are doing exactly what they need to do to bring it upon themselves. The people will not stand for this.

    February 25, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Steve(the smart one)

    Everyone wanted to tank the auto workers,lets tank the bank employees too.Seems nobody cares about anyone elses job until its their job at risk.The anti-union scabs(THE CEOs) and foreign car makers in southern states dont want Americans to be more than the slaves of old.These bankers dont really care about their employees,they all have a golden parachute now.

    February 25, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |


    February 25, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. floridian

    Why don't all of you non-golfers read up on what a PGA-sponsored event consists of and what it is not?

    These things raise money for charities. Expenses come out of the $$ paid by those watching on the course and TV revenues and some other sources. The golfers winnings come out of the same pot. Then the rest of the $$ goes to the charity. The sponsor, in this case Northern Trust, doesn't get a dime nor do they spend a dime.

    February 25, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. david

    NEWSFLASH for the banking industry THE PARTY IS OVER!

    February 25, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. greg

    btw ,, they did have afro entertainers,,, does that mean anything???

    February 25, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. Debbie

    Here is a reason why they should have given the money to us. I am so behind in everyday living, I would have felt like I had a lavish vacation just catching up on bills. Whew how good that would have felt.

    February 25, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. California Gold

    Ok, if you didn't use the $1.6 Billion and can afford to throw bonanza events then you don't need the $1.6 Billion. Time to return the $1.6 Billion to the Government. Any other taxpayer agree?

    February 25, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Big Ed

    Time to revokel the bailout money! There is no excuse for that type of extravegance. Let the institution fail! They obviously do not care about the people ho loaned them the money. eds has a good point! Jail them!

    February 25, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    They could have done all this here in Las Vegas for cheaper. Every thing that they got or did, or where they stayed, could have been had here cheaper, as we are all set up to handle almost any size company's function. Yes, we have 5 star hotels and resturants, And Tiffan &Co too. Of course Obama's comment about coming here for business meetings really didn't help at all. We need the business very badly!!!

    If this was a business meeting, this sure didn't look right, and if this was just another lavish retreat, those funds should be returned as no one getting bailout funds needs to party. Remember AIG's $443,000 party?

    There must be an accounting of the funds(EVERY DOLLAR) in regards to this party, and those who put this on reimburse the treasury for this.

    February 25, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. cheryl brooks from cali

    Pleas bail me out!!!!!! I don't even know if I qualify for the stimulus money??????? I have two daughters in college however I'm only getting back $13 dollars from federal and $33 dollars from state... I guess I continue to live off of air!!!!!!!

    February 25, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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