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. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    the taxpayer always pays.....

    February 25, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Blazing mad

    Government should demand the entire price of the jaunt back from the bank. Don't want the banks to be "nationlized"? Here's a prime example of why they should be. How incredibly irresponsible to have this gala event under these circumstances. Bank CEO's ought to be prosecuted.

    February 25, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. terry

    Banks led us into this recession after our Conservative presidents convinced us to deregulate corporations. They presented us with descriptions of poor CEOs who wanted nothing more than a chance to create good paying jobs for American workers, but they were forced to spend their days filling out government paperwork instead.

    So, we deregulated. CEOs acted like a fourteen year old kid on a joy ride in the family car. Now, the family car sits underwater at the bottom of our neighbor's swimming pool. The kid says its not his fault, of course.

    Has anyone noticed the complete absence of leadership coming from the business sector since they led us off this cliff?

    February 25, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Jindal that, will ya?

    And the Republicans wonder why they have no credibility on oversight (deregulation), financial stability and fiscal responsibility?

    February 25, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Jenn C

    I give up, they are so clueless and self serving they can't grasp that they are not supposed to use our money for their luxury trips.

    February 25, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Tonya

    Any bank or company that has received bail-out money from tax payers should not be spending money that they obviously do not have on lavish parties and such. Just like President Obama and the rest of the government talks about fixing the economy. They shouldn't have spent 49 million dollars of taxpayers money on an inauration, or 50 thousand dollars on the ugly mug of outgoing politicians paintings to be hung in the pentagon/whitehouse, or 100,000 dollars on incidentals at dems and gop annual get together at their fav five star resort. They should be like the rest of us that do without. If they were really serious about fixing the economy everyone from the government down to the folks that tax payers bail out would be seriously not spending money that they obviously do not have. I'll believe the governement's stance on getting our economy back into shape when I see them practicing what they preach.

    February 25, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |


    THESE,,,,,,,,,,PERKS ? ?

    February 25, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. John cal

    I feel like screaming when I hear one of these guys making the claim that "it was not at public expense". Come on now if you are begging on the street for money to get food and then after getting a few bucks go buy wine you cannot expect us t beleive you didn't spend our money. If you spent yours then why the h–l did you need ours. Last time I noticed a dollar is a dollar in this case $1.6 dollars. Hey give the money back.

    February 25, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Makes U Wonder

    Correct me if I'm wrong folks, but isn't Northern Trust where Obama got his loan for his million plus house at an interest rate most of us could only dream of.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm, maybe that's why Northern Trust got a 1.6 billion gift. A gift for a gift!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    TO: baffled-EXCELLENT POINT and I love your idea!!!!!

    February 25, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. demwit

    Congress is full of morons, led by village idoits..

    February 25, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Deborah Black

    Where are all the conservatives calling for their heads? Let a person who is unemployed, by no falult of their own, get an extension on their unemployment benefit and we are all socialists or communists. Let the wealthy and banks, steal billions of taxpayor money and hey, it's all good, it's the way business is done.

    All these bankers should go to jail and their companies should pay back all the money they took in the stimulus. Congress and the Attorney General need to get to work, like Mr Cuomo in New York.

    February 25, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Mickie

    I don't see how any business who takes government bailout money can say they are not using it for a particular pupose. If you took the money, it's part of the money you have for operating, whether it's operating their business or their hanky-panky, side trips, bonuses, etc. Unless this money is in an interest-bearing, separate, escrow account which requires Whitehouse approval to spend, it is "general funds" for use at their discretion. Any business taking taxpayer money should be subject to criminal prosecution if they misuse it. I would be criminally prosecuted if I did not pay my tax for them to get. Middle-class taxpayers are sick of being the only people held accountable.

    February 25, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. Felonious Monk

    We gave them the money without any regulation. What did we expect? This may have been a "waste" of money, but there were no regulations in place to guide the spending of this money. This is the result of 8 years of mismanagement.
    If the government is corrupt, why would you expect private business to not be corrupt? It is the lack of oversight that caused this situation. Does anyone remember the palet of money shipped to Iraq that can not be traced. That money is gone, and Iraqi oil revenues were supposed to pay for the war. Absurd!
    You get what you paid for and we are paying for what we got, 8 years of mismanagement and corruption.

    February 25, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. Maximized Manhood

    Sam Sixpack – are you not aware that the money the banks are blowing and holding was give to them by Bush and Paulson. This has nothing to do with stimulus period.......Instead of using the money the way he (Bush) said it would be used and that was to bail out those loosing their homes, they decided to give it to the banks whether they wanted it or not.
    That was the exclamation point of eight horrible years of a C student running the worlds most powerful economy.

    February 25, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. still hoping

    if we want to talk about stealing taxpayers money, why don't we start with Obama and the $787 billion he just stole from us taxpayers.

    February 25, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Tony

    I have an answer!!!


    February 25, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Obambi

    I do not understand why Dems hold banks accountable and let Obama and friends enjoy all the free lobster and private plane rides that they want. He is not being held accountable for anything. Is he hypnotizing you people, or what? hope and change, doom and gloom, hope and change–which is it–he blows with the popularity polls. Next doom speech will be when he wants more of my money for pork and home speculators.

    February 25, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. still hoping

    This was just "pork" spending by the banks, something I thought the dimocrats would understand.

    Look, it created jobs for all those who had to work at the event, it bought products for all the gifts which helps workers, and all the people who worked the concerts got paid, so all in all, let's call it a stimulus event, not a party.

    February 25, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Louis

    WAKE UP AMERICANS–As always, you are being ripped off. Over the last fifty years, hard-working taxpayers have given our government more than enough money to create a country with a stable economy, appropriate defense, excellent education and comprehensive healthcare. Instead, our government through incompetence and greed have squandered billions/trillions of your dollars on wasteful spending, unnecessary wars, misguided foreign policy, pork-barrel projects, and needless farm subsidies. They have crippled a once great nation.

    February 25, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. stag

    Lavish series of events.......almost as bad as the folks on welfare having a flat screen tv.

    February 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Jason

    Not at taxpayer's expense? If you need money bacause you are short funds, then ANY money you spend after the loan is TAXPAYER MONEY!!! This "lifestyle to which they have become accoustomed" is a bunch of junk. I agree CU's all the way

    February 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. ja_mad

    Northern claims they didn't need the money, it was "forced" upon them.

    Simple: return it. Refuse it. If you don't need it, don't take it. A responsible institution, with the taxpayers of this great nation in mind, would have refused the money.

    Ford Motors refused their bailout money and, instead, chose to go it themselves. You have to admire that given the way the rest of the banks and automakers are gobbling up MY money like it's FREE... oh wait, until President Obama took office it WAS free money... no strings, no accountability, no repercussions...

    Come to think of it, I'm heading off to the bank right now and see if I can get that kinda loan... wish me luck!

    February 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Steve, New York City

    Undoubtedly, there have been problems with how these TARP funds have been deployed.

    However, hopefully the media should also try to understand that client entertainment (if its derived from client revenues, and not TARP funds), should not be the business of congress, the media or any other clueless person that starts "crying wolf" every time one of these sensationalist stories emerges.

    February 25, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. thomas

    That's disgusting! Why should these prominent socialites be forced to listen to Earth, Windand Fire and dine on burnt salmon. These bankers deserve better.

    February 25, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Splurge

    This is what happens when the president gives billions of dollars to failing companies who can't or won't provide a plan on how to use it. Is it just their fault or is there some responsibility on the part of the givers of the monies (president and congress) to require some sort of explanation or plan for how this money be spent and how it will help. Car companies have done it twice now....still no plan. While Obama is asking individual citizens to "do our part" and claim "personal accountability" while we're losing all our money, jobs, and homes is he demanding the same from these companies that he's giving billions to?

    February 25, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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