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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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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

The Governator    

If first national don't need the money than give it back to the U.S. goverment. If first national needs the money than stop wasteing money these unnecessary luxary events. It dosen't matter whose money was spent it is the thought of spending the money. Many Americans and some companies are making financial cuts in order to survive, and would never think of spending money in such a foolish way. First National and companies like them need to wake up and smell the coffee. Also the fact that first national laid off some of its employees recently and then still put on an event like this is B.S.. They should have used the money form hosting the event to keep their workers or at least some of them. I wonder how far that money would have went to keep workers employeed.

2067 days ago


So, when is the whole "hope" and "change" thing supposed to kick in. Don't tell me Obama used smoke and mirrors to get the idiots to vote on his empty ideas.

2067 days ago

Greedy "R" Us    

No. 4.....kool-aid drinkers, we ain't! We've been watching the greedy a-holes (such as yourself) for the last 40 years. My husband and I having been trying to warn people for the last 30 years. But, your greed is way more powerful than our rational thought. We have finally been able to lock in a president who's looking at the big picture. A president who understands balance. YES, BALANCE....It's fundamental to a healthy country, people, lifestyle, etc. Have you noticed that I haven't used either term, repubs or dems, in discussing this imbalance, we find ourselves in. It's not a partisan problem, folks...IT'S A PROBLEM OF GREED, UNADULTERATED, NO-COMPROMISE GREED. BTW, I am from one of the poorest states in the country, Oklahoma. My husband and I. along with our two teenaged-boys chose to move out of the US and over to Europe, to (btw) one of the rich countries in the world, Switzerland. We don't have the income to live here, we aren't one of the uber-riche Americans families that live here because the of the killer tax -breaks for the same, uber-riche. We moved here because of the OPPORTUNITY we were given to improve our life, our world, and show our children, first-hand, just how bad, unmitigated greed can be. Many of these same opportunities are completely unavailable to 90% of our fellow Americans. WE, ARE, HOWEVER, COMMITTED TO RESTORING A COUNTRY WHERE ALL POSSIBILITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO ALL PEOPLE...YA KNOW, THE COUNTRY SET UP BY OUR FORE-FATHERS BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T GET EQUAL AND FAIR TREATMENT IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES, SOME 200+ YEARS AGO. Certainly, you must remember something of American history. As far as the crap being spewed by No. 4 and his ilk, I've got one thing to say to you....MOVE TO SWITZERLAND, IT'S PERFECT FOR THE LIKES OF YOU!

2067 days ago


Uncle Sam - there's an old adage that applies to you and many others posting here - it's better to remain silent and let others think you a fool, than speak about things of which you have no understanding and prove them correct

Apparently you and the other intelligensi (not!) believe that any company that's had to cut jobs that aren't needed because business volume is down should not engage in advertising - if they don't advertise, how do they grow back the business volume??

2067 days ago

John Wayne    

Dear Mr. President,
The bail out saves jobs, lets see about that. One person worked for NTRS 27 yrs, Bk Officer, close to retirement, has a little heart prob. spouse has cancer and now they are out the door.
We gave Northern the 1.8 Billion taxpayer money and they can't find a way to let these people keep their jobs and maintain health insurance benefits. Wasent the whole purpose of this act to put people to work?
No, we must blow it on the golf tournament, the hell with loyal employees who have made this bank what it is. I under stand you have an interest in this bank and that they also carry your home mortgage.
Mr. President, won't you please step up and stop this rip off of the American people? Give us a "Change We Can Believe In". It would be admirable of you to have a talk with management. Surely the $1.8 billion loan from the American taxpayer would allow NTRS to keep those 400 employees on the payroll for a long time.Thank you

A Concerned American Citizen

2067 days ago



2067 days ago


"See what other congresspeople have to say... after the jump." What the hell? How about, "See what other congresspeople have to say starting in the very next paragraph that follows immediately after this sentence"? No one would say that because it's redundant and unnecessary. Same with this obsession to tell people about jumps. There was no jump. There is no need for this. Whatever happened to good editors?

2062 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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