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. jj

    And that is a problem caused by Mr. Obama. Shame on you CNN!

    February 25, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Jasper von Sillyputty

    Five simple words: "Put a banker in jail."

    Then you'll see their attitudes change. You'd do it with a terrorist who caused our markets to fail. You'd do to an anarchist who broke a store window at the G8 summit. (Reminder: A store window does not cost 700 billion dollars). The followup on these scandals has been an impotent joke. I don't want to hear about one more scandal before I hear that a corrupt banker has had is *** handed to him.

    February 25, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. mike

    I say we stop all the state diners. We do not need to impress foreign investors or heads of states to invest in America. Let's close Congressioanl as well. Eclected officials should not play golf or go on retreats.

    February 25, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Party Hearty

    Well, there's money SOMEWHERE!! Guess the banks aren't as broke as they'd like everyone to think, huh? What a bunch of freaks!

    Right now, I wouldn't offer a bank bailout no matter who asked for money! Can't trust 'em! And the needy banks can thanks these bozos!

    February 25, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. BW

    baffled...obviously an excellent choice for your name. Do some math, then get back to us. Also, what is your definition of "exclude the wealthy"? Moronic socialist ideas like yours seem to forget that the "wealthy" are responsible for about 72% of the total tax revenue, knucklehead! Not to mention, they are the ones that create the jobs, own the businesses, take the risks, etc. I am not wealthy, but I'm at least smart enough to understand the facts and basic Economics 101. Please keep trying! As Ron White said: "You Can't Fix Stupid!"

    February 25, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Frost/Tennessee

    I'm done with the banks.. I don't think they get .. what is going on outside their 9-5 jobs..

    I truly do not want another dime going to any of them.. I would rather the goverment take them over to be honest.

    They have used and abused us long enough.. Years we been cheated by them one way or the other... fee's, overcharging.. time to cut them out.

    funny isn't it... they are the ones that issued the credit cards, the loans the balloon loans.. and the 1 million ways to rip you off.. penny by penny

    now they want more.. No..

    February 25, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. cnnnewser

    Old habits are hard to break....and its time they wise up. They've had free reign for 8 years to do whatever they wanted, at the cost to millions of people.
    I personally don't care what banks do with their money as long as they don't cheat people and as long as they pay back the American people what they owe.

    February 25, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Alan

    Make notes, folks. Some cry out "they didn't even NEED the money." Then, they shouldn't have TAKEN it. Period. End of argument.

    The fact that they DID take the money and are spending this way anyway is pure irresponsible robbery of the American taxpayer. Set up, I'd like to point out, with the handout money GW literally "gave away" prior to leaving office, with no strings attached.

    Do some homework. Write down the names of EVERY BANK receiving bailout money - first round and new rounds. If they are still not LENDING MONEY, get YOUR money out of them and move it to a credit union.

    Let's punish criminals through capitalism. Create a RUN on the banks that are crooks and do it today.

    February 25, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Melody Chapin

    Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! No business that has government money for a bailout has the right to use funds for such lavish entertaining. Where is the common sense and decentness? What gall and arrogance to essentially thumb your nose at the government and the tax payers by having such lavish parties and acting like you are the only one that counts. I think you should have to pay the money back to the government for the amount used for entertainment. I like Sheryl Crow's singing too, but I can't afford to have her come to my neighborhood and perform.

    February 25, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. No Hillary = No Obama

    How does Obama plan to monitor all the money he has just thrown away?

    February 25, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. shoegazer

    These guys just don't seem to get it.

    February 25, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Republican are ankle biters

    Any CEO or bank exec. found to be corrupt or stealing our money should have their photo on a wanted poster like Madoff.We should all be able to spot them on the streets.

    February 25, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. zac

    this is why we need to just let these banks fail. how is it that they didnt use taxpayer money? they should re-imburse TARP for the exact cost of this event.

    To the person talking about the 9-5'ers not understanding. You are right...this is how business works, and it working like this is KILLING THE ECONOMY! America needs to return to the hard work, doing a good job, and doing right by clients/customers mantra...instead of this using taxpayer money to bribe potential customers because your business SUCKS. You think I'm putting any money in a bank that requires TARP money to survive just because they put me up in a fancy hotel and fed me a steak?

    Thomas Jefferson would demand people to rise up and stop this theft since the government/police wont.

    February 25, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Matthew, Detroit

    All you IDIOTS dont get it.

    Northern is not in trouble.
    Norhern is financially solvent.
    Northern does not need the goverment money. They were told to take it so that OTHER banks would not appear insolvent and start a RUN on the banks where everyone withdraws their money.
    There business practices are strong.
    There balance sheet is strong.
    They DO NOT give loans to people that can not afford them.

    February 25, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. slickingdom

    The banks that accept bail out money should never be able to wine and
    dine in this fashion. Their trust is ka-put and the bail out money should
    be revoked and reused elsewhere !!!

    February 25, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. David in Dallas

    If such extravagence is the norm for doing business, then the bank should be able to document the Return on Investment (RoI) that results. If it can prove the event was a net profit maker, fine–we want that.

    If they can't, they should return the money spent on the affair to the fed, up to the amount of bail out money they received. It's wrong to borrow from future generations to pay for parties that aren't in fact investments in the future.

    February 25, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Judith

    It's time the banks get accountable and have their banks closed down until all the money they stole from the Americans get re-paid.This is exactly why the goverment should get involve.These bankers want to act like kids then they should be watch as kids.

    February 25, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Scott

    Once again the people on this Blog can not understand that this sponsorship was agreed to with the PGA a long time ago. Unlike people who walk away from a mortgage, businesses do not walk away from a contract they signed. They were asked by the government to participate in TARP, they did not ask for the money.

    It seems like the easy thing to do these days is to vilify corporations and make villans of those who run them. Fools like Barney Frank love to grandstand and make cheap political points. All the while they neglect the fact that their very own decisions and actions contributed to this mess and that they are doing nothing to help.

    As we can see by the market, investors love the "new direction" that we are headed. Believe it or not those are jobs that are lose everytime the market sinks.

    Change we can believe in!!!

    February 25, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Jackie in Dallas

    As much as I hate to say this, because I DO think that a lot of this is wasteful spending, they probably could not back out of the committments that they had already made. Contracts for this type of sponsorship, etc. are usually signed at least 12 months in advance, long before the Wall Street crash and banks going into the crapper. Mostly, those contracts require you to pay the money even if you withdraw.

    The big question is whether they continue to do it. They might have to pay a set amount for breaking their 5-year contract, but that has to be cheaper than the actual costs, not to mention the bad blood it would cause!

    February 25, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Captain Canada

    LOL! Have fun with that, yanks!

    February 25, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Dan

    Maybe – we should just stop these banks from doing business if they take money. It sure seems that's what Barney Frank and company want to do. C'mon people, this was a sponsored event, it's how business gets done. Backing out would have a devasting impact on that community and the banks results. Is anyone rational out there?

    February 25, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Ron - Saint Louis

    "...not at taxpayer expense" Exactly where does their Spokesperson think $1,600,000,000 came from – thin air???

    Your business is down, you lay off 450 people, borrow $1,600,000,000 for the government and then go on to say that it is part of a 5-year contact so it was best to go forward that spend millions of dollars even though taxpayers are funding the party and 450 people are out of work because of poor business practices.

    Let's walk a mile with the new Obama administration and hold these clowns responsible for wasteful spending. I hope the administration forces the CEO, CFO, and CMO out as well as the lump head from PR that thought he could defend the bank's actions.

    Yes, Northern Trust should have to pay back the money. However, I think half should go back to the goverment for the cost of the party and the other half should go to the 450 people displaced by them.

    February 25, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Corey from NC

    Wow! Here we go again. Another bank begging for money and spending it on lavish events. America is starting to look like the Salvation Army toward banks!

    February 25, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. DavidinCA

    More important, although it's not as fun to write a news article about, is whether or not this company increased the number of loans it made after receiving TARP money. This is what it is all about...not how the company chooses to spend it's marketing dollars.

    I suppose the government is going to now take over the marketing functions for these banks too???? Get real. It's about making loans. All that matters is did they make more loans. That's what the economy needs.

    February 25, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Earl

    baffled wrote, "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)."

    A million dollars for each of 304,000,000 people comes out to 304,000,000,000,000. You're complaining about a 700-800 billion dollar bailout by proposing a 304 TRILLION dollar one? I'm guessing you have no idea how multiplication works or else you wouldn't have proposed this. I also guess you don't know how inflation works, because if 304 trillion dollars suddenly appeared in the market, every single product in the country's price would increase exponentially.

    February 25, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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