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Frank to Bank: Give Back the Jack

2/24/2009 12:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Congressman Barney FrankCongressman Barney Frank just told TMZ he is sending a letter to Northern Trust, demanding that the bank pay the government the equivalent of what it spent last week on lavish parties and concerts in L.A.

Frank, Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, is sending the letter on behalf of the Committee.

Frank is also asking Northern Trust to return the $1.6 billion in bailout money to the government. Northern Trust didn't ask for the money when Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson doled it out. The new law actually allows banks that didn't need the money to return it.

Frank also scoffed at the boondoggle, saying Northern Trust should have spent that money making loans and stimulating the economy. He called the Northern Trust Open an "ego thing" that has nothing to do with good business.

Senator John Kerry also weighed in on TMZ's story, calling Northern Trust's L.A. extravaganza "disgusting and stupid
and pathetic."

UPDATE: Congressman Brad Sherman said, "Wall Street is laughing at us saying, 'we got to keep your money and our lifestyle is unchanged.'"

Senator Sherrod Brown said, "A lot of banks seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouths. When we ask what they are doing with taxpayer funds, they claim it's impossible to track the money because it is fungible. But when it comes to paying for parties, all of a sudden an enormous wall divides the TARP money from everything else. They cannot have it both ways."

See what other congresspeople have to say... after the jump.

Congressman Walter Jones said, "This personifies exactly why I voted against the bank bailout bill."

Congressman Stephen F. Lynch has just agreed to sign Barney Frank's letter.

Congressman Bill Foster says he's "appalled and angered at the behavior of Northern Trust executives," adding "the bank should return what they spent on this junket..."

Congressman Steve Driehaus just contacted TMZ and said he will be signing Barney Frank's letter to Northern Trust.

We love this one. Congressman Ed Royce took a stand by saying he was "swamped" with the State of the Union so he had no comment.

How's this for taking a stand. Congressman J. Gresham Barrett said no comment. And Congressman William "Lacy" Clay said he was preparing for the President's address tonight -- we thought the Prez was giving the address.

Congressman Paul Hodes says "Northern Trust demonstrated a lack of understanding of the economic times we face with their extravagance...this should never happen again."
116 COMMENTS

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46.

Rene' C.    

Hey stupid ass demoRATS, they did not want the money! If you gave it to them then they can use it anyway they want. Afterall, what does homo Barney "Fife" Frank know about running anything but a male whore house out of his apartment? See what happens when the demoRATIC government get involved in the free market? It renders it useless. Money not earned is found money and is considered worthless. So why not throw a party? It stimulated someone in the bathroom I'm sure. Dumbass demoRAT liberals.

1879 days ago
47.

vern212    

This bank needs to return the money. In my opinion, the taxpayers should vote for who should recieve any money. It's bad enough that we did'nt get to vote on using the money to bail ANYONE out. Atleast let us vote for who gets it.Rather then give the money to people who take our money to party and not help the people who need it, Why don't you just pay the taxpayers and let us pay our own debts. With our debts paid ,the economy will get back on track. But I guess that sounds to right.

1879 days ago
48.

bsp    

The bail-out plan was created and implemented by George W. Bush in October when he still held power. The banks and several other companies received a bail-out package from the Bush administration totaling millions and millions of dollars. The banks themselves had up to $250 billion dollars injected into them in return for partial owner stakes, which by the way hasn't been done since the great depression. There were no conditions set out in the bail-out package as how they were to spend their money and limits on what they could do, so that anyone receiving this money had free reign on what to do with it. Several companies have already been taken to task on how they are spending their money, ie massive bonuses to CEO's even when their workers are getting laid off. George Bush signed the bill faster than any other bill has been signed in history, making it into law..he really wanted it to go through before he had to leave office.
Obama's administration has actually started putting down restrictions on how this money is given out and spent. Every company has to account for their bail-out money or risk having to give it back or be fined. As said banks now that don't need the money are to give it back to the government. Obama has stated that now taxpayers must be reimbursed and corporate executives are not further enriched by corporate mismanagement. Companies that now take hand-outs must have their executive salaries cut, And now the money will not be handed out the the Treasurer alone but will be monitored by a bi-partisan committee that will oversee all steps that are being taken by those who recieve bail-out.
Not everything can be fixed right away by the new government buy George Bush left a very big mess to clean up.

1879 days ago
49.

bsp    

Which also means to anyone who keeps up on this that it was the Republican's who gave the money to this bank not the Democrats. The money was given out in the fall, the democrats didn't take power until January 20, 2009. Does anyone keep up on this????

1879 days ago
50.

Ron    

Does anybody even use rational thought, or do they just repeat what they hear politicians and the media say and assume that it is the truth? There are so many parts to this "story", that are almost laughable, that I can not even get to them all here. but here are some of the top. 1)although making loans does help stimulate the economy, by no means is it the only way to do so. Think about it, this bank rented hundreds of hotel rooms around the LA area, which gives a large revenue boost to the hotels themselves as well as other supporting industries (restaurants, travel-including airlines and local transportation, entertainment, etc.) All of these companies are thus able to retain and pay more employees, and even possibly higher more because they have more revenues to pay salaries from. All this represents millions of $$ flowing into the socal economy from the corporate level down to the individual workers. 2) although they did receive taxpayer money, they still have to operate their company to be as profitable as possible. This is a much different situation than the junkets taken by other banks. This sponsorship, as well as all costs involved, is a calculated marketing event meant to bring in new business...thus strengthening the bank as a whole. Frank saying that the sponsorship is an "ego thing" just goes to show how clueless he is. Do you think a company would invest $10 million+ in an event like this if they weren't confident that they would gain a decent return on the investment. It even says in this article the event was for CLIENTS, as in they are trying to court clients to bring in new business. Do you really think companies spend millions on marketing such as these sponsorships just because they want to throw money away??? 3)Frank wants them to pay the government the total cost of the event plus give back all TARP money they received? If they want the money back that they forced on Northern Trust that is fine, but based on the governments recent track record managing its own financial affairs, do you think it is really smart for them to be dictating how publicly owned companies should best operate?

1879 days ago
51.

Anu    

Didn't Barney Frank cause this mess by telling banks to lend money to people who couldn't pay it back?

1879 days ago
52.

Keith    

This is EXACTLY why this bailout should have never happened. For every one of these banks mis-spending OUR TAX DOLLARS there are probably 20 that we'll never find out about.
Using our hard-earned taxed wages stolen from us literally at gun point in order to prop up poorly run private institutions is, in the words of Senator Heinz-Kerry "disgusting and stupid and pathetic".

1879 days ago
53.

Alexa    

Shut the hell up Barney! You created this nightmare, you loser!

1879 days ago
54.

72_smiles    

1st of all, if this bash was probably all planned out and partially paid for PRIOR to them receiving bell-out $$$. 2nd, they didn't ask for or state to congress that they needed the money - the government simply opened up the money bag and sprinkled it here & there and in doing so - gave a chunk of it to this bank. They did not beg for cash therefore I have no reason to be angry that they spent all this money this weekend - it was their money to spend. HOWEVER, since they do not have a need for the funds - give it back to the government. AND FYI - it may be a lavish week of fun for members of their company, but if you think about it, isn't the key to stimulating the economy - paying people to do a job? How many people were paid to do a job that week/weekend. Hotel staff, rental car company employees, people working the pga tourney, caterers, wait staff, etc. NOT TO MENTION - state & city sales tax. The state of California & the city of LA made HUGE revenues off of the sales taxes for 200+ rooms for 3-4 or more nights.

But yes, I do believe that if there is no NEED for the government handout they should return the gov't money.

1879 days ago
55.

kosta    

Barney Frank is useless to the American people. Lobbyist on the other hand....

1879 days ago
56.

I Will Take Being Born White Any Day - Thats Worth Much More To Me, #6    

Hey, I just think it's great that TMZ stirred up some real sh*t, regardless of what you want to say about Barney Frank.

This bank needed to have been called out, TMZ did it - thanks.

1879 days ago
57.

el polacko    

congress might have more credibility on the subject if they were not having lavish parties of their own, flying around on private jets, taking off to italy to meet the pope, etc,,,,, how about if congress, who didn't even have the time to read the enormous spending bill they passed, gave back their money too ?!

1879 days ago
58.

tifosi44    

Good old Barney actually got the dough for the bank to begin with. Now, it must look better to his critics, (MANY) to act tough and ask for it back. What a pin-head! Is he somebody to be really proud of DEMS????? A pathetic loser that keeps getting voted in by brain-dead New Englanders'. Kerry is just another sad example.

1879 days ago
59.

Justin is Calling    

Oh give me a break, TMZ, could you be more blind your political partisanship?

Barney Frank is the fox watching the henhouse. and was DATING FANNIE MAE EXEC Herb Moses, and even showed up to two Senate dinners with him as his date. They lived together for three years while Frank was making decisions on Fannie Mae and as recently as July 14, 2008 told the US "think this is a case where Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are fundamentally sound. They're not in danger of going under. They're not the best investment these days from a long term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward. They're in the housing market. I do think their prospects going forward are very solid. "

Fanne Mae collapsed 18 days later.

1879 days ago
60.

R.Zimmerman    

You meant this freak is finally on the right side of something??!! Amazing!!

1879 days ago
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