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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."

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What we should do is make all our elected public idiots (like Barney Frank) rebate the cash back to the government coffers. Maybe it will make them think twice before they throw our money away.

2066 days ago


Kudos to TMZ!!! Please keep up this good work, you are actually making something happen!!! YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. Please keep up the good work and thank you!!!!!!!

2066 days ago


Let me get this straight - you will receive $1.6B just because you are Financial Institution even though you did ask for it??? How??? These $$$ were given to the Banks during the Bush's administration with a 'Carte Blanche' spend as you go along. This is outrageous and I am disgusted with all these bail outs and the $$$ are spent and going!! The Government will have to ask for ALL the $$$ that were given to Financial Institutions that were 'not asking for assistance' in the first place. This is how the 'greed' has caused all of us taxpayers this stupid problem in the first place!!!

2066 days ago


These Congresspeople are not heroes.

It should not take TMZ's publication of this outrage for Congress to take action.

If TMZ didn't post this story, it would have gone unchecked.

Where were these Congresspeople before? Why didn't they demand the money back before? They should have been well aware of it. The fiscal irresponsibility goes on. This is how we all got stuck in this mess. It's like the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

2066 days ago


To all of the Fox Noise fans blaming Obama - just keep in mind it was AMERICA HATING REPUBLICANS at the wheel for the past 8 years whilst your Boy King and Cheney stimulated the Iraq economy.

You freaks hdd no problem sending a trillion $$$ to IRAQ just so you could eat yer Freedom Fries and sing yer Lee Greenwood songs - talk abouot ENTITLEMENT programs.

Repukes have no problem as long as the "entitled" have purple fingers.


2066 days ago


After the President of this bank returns the money he should be FIRED! I knew it was some obnoxious suit on the top authorizing all this. I wonder how much of the money he put into his own bank account. This is ridiculous!

2066 days ago


What Did Barney Think was going to happen when he was the so called leader of this Bail Out Bill that had NO strings attached and NO morals to the CONSUMERS who needed the Loans. JUST look these so called BANKS TRACK RECORDS and you will not be suprised. How many of these BANK employees and BANK lobbyist gave to BARNEY. ITS time to VOTE GOOD BYE TO BARNEY.

2066 days ago

mickey lou    

Has Barney paid his taxes? Maybe if the IRS checked all these pol"s out they might be able to pay off the deficit.

2066 days ago


Perhaps we should ask that congress give their pay back as well. Sort of like idiots overseeing monkeys and the results speak volumes. congress has no clue beyond what some reporter writes and NT has no concept of appearances. What a marriage

2066 days ago


What a freakin' joke!! Not only should Frank be in jail for housing his gay, pedophile pimp boyfriend, but he should be serving life for being the main reason the mortage crisis took place! Hey pot, meet my friend Mr. Kettle!!

Geez TMZ, if Northern Trust had given Bush a loan of 1.32 million dollars with no prior relationship, a criminal home loan below prime rates, the bank employees gave him nearly 100,000 in donations and other board members buddled hundreds of thousands on his behalf, I suspect the story would be at the top of the site for days, if not weeks. But since they did it for the Socialist Obama it's all good!!!!! You people are idiots.

2066 days ago

Def Wilzer    

You all have no idea what you are talking about. Northern Trust is one of the few banks that has remained viable in this ridiculous market. They do not sell off their loans like many of their competitors and are not forced to write down a massive number of loans that many of the larger banks have been forced into. Sponsoring a golf tournamet and keeping brand recognition during a time when many Americans are trying to make an educated choice regarding the various financial institutions is a smart move. A few concerts and gift bags are paid for in a matter of hours through interest so it all amounts to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things. Companies must continue to market themselves and their brand in order to stay competitive, my applaus to Northern Trust for keeping the engine running, and not to mention hotels full and golf sponsorship alive. They could have just pulled out and gotten sued like Bobby Ginn, wonder what the legal fees would have cost, more than a Sherly Crow concert.

2066 days ago


Yea, this coming from Frank. Hey Frank how 'bout writing a letter to Obama and ask him not to spend a couple million on honoring just a celebrity that happens to sing for a living. How about asking him to use that money to help the idiots who got into home loans they couldn't afford (which you helped them to get), to keep their homes. Blah blah blah, Frank you helped to run the banks into the ground.

2066 days ago


Anyone who believes a word out of Barney Frank needs to climb into a box - you're too stupid and gullable to be out in public - you're a potential danger to the rest of us. Barney Frank is one of the key crooks on the Hill who helped drive us into this mess. Ask him why he was touting Fannie Mae and pushing through special sweetheart deregulations for them while he was doing the Lewinski on some male exec at Fannie (and of course taking huge amounts of political donations from Fannie at the same time).

2066 days ago


Barney Frank telling people how to spend money and not be wasteful??? What a smelly punk hypocrite he is. He is one of the CAUSES of this mess. What about rewarding employees. What about all the people that benefited from the parties? The hotels, waiters, bartenders, caterers.... How much money does Frank spend on free air fare, food, hotels, that he charges to US?

2066 days ago

Big Bear    

Frankie baby. You cannot tell the bank how to spend their money. You know the top dogs will reap tens of millions in benefits from the bailout. Why not let the big boys have a cut of the bailout money??

2066 days ago
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