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Bailout Bank Blows Millions Partying in L.A.

2/24/2009 3:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

A bank that received $1.6 billion in bailout money just spent a fortune last week in L.A. hosting a series of lavish parties and concerts with famous singers ... and TMZ cameras caught it all.

Bail out Bank]

Northern Trust, a Chicago-based bank, sponsored the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in L.A. We're told Northern Trust paid millions to sponsor the PGA event which ended Sunday, but what happened off the golf course is even more shocking.

Northern Trust flew hundreds of clients and employees to L.A. and put many of them up at some of the fanciest and priciest hotels in the city. We're told more than a hundred people were put up at the Beverly Wilshire in Bev Hills, and another hundred stayed at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Still more stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey and others at Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica.

Here are the highlights:

Sheryl Crow: Play videoPlay video

- Wednesday, Northern Trust hosted a fancy dinner at the Ritz followed by a performance by the group Chicago.

- Thursday, Northern Trust rented a private hangar at the Santa Monica Airport for dinner, followed by a performance by Earth, Wind & Fire.

- Saturday, Northern Trust had the entire House of Blues in West Hollywood shut down for its private party. We got the menu -- guests dined on seared salmon and petite Angus filet. Dinner was followed by a performance by none other than Sheryl Crow.

There was also a fabulous cocktail party at the Loews. And how's this for a nice touch: Female guests at the Chicago concert all got trinkets from ... TIFFANY AND CO.

Tiffany Gift Bag
As for what all that costs: Well, the company isn't talking. We spoke with a rep from the band Chicago who said Northern Trust paid them around $100,000. A House of Blues source told us it cost more than $50,000 to close the joint down last Saturday night. As for Sheryl Crow's fee, her rep didn't get back to us. Earth, Wind & Fire acknowledges payment but won't say how much.

As for the golf tournament, a rep from the PGA told us Northern Trust wrote one big fat check in order to sponsor the event. That check covers part of the $6.3 million purse, the advertising costs for the spots on CBS (which broadcast the final two rounds of the tournament) and operating costs. The rep says the fee was negotiated and is confidential.

Lots of people from Northern Trust went to the golf tourney ... in special Mercedes that shuttled them to and from the hotels. But for those who weren't into golfing, they could spend a few hours at the Northern Trust seminar on the credit crunch.

Now how's this for outrage? Northern Trust laid off 450 workers in December, 4% of its workforce.

And here's what's absolutely amazing: The United States Government flat out gave Northern Trust the $1.6 billion in bailout money, and the bank didn't even request it!

Northern Trust gave us a statement yesterday before going total radio silence. A rep for the bank acknowledges they paid for the events, but that the bailout money did not pay for the events. He claims it was paid out of the bank's operating expenses. Here's Northern Trust's full statement to us.

Perhaps we're missing something, but money is money. How can they spend like this when they're using taxpayer's money, whether they asked for it or not? And where the hell is Congress in all of this? Is there any oversight or accountability?

Your tax dollars, hard at work. Thomas Jefferson was right -- "A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing."


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Hay, i think the Bob hope classic in palm desert held a few weeks before the northertrust sponsored by CHRYSLER???

2053 days ago


This irresponsible behavior is exactly what these financial crooks do, piss on our backs and say it is raining. There should be bail out money for those who lost their pensions, lost their jobs, and are about to lose their homes, not to fund corporations that abuse taxpayers money. This does not help help the economy, The caterers, entertainers, etc got paid. Maybe they really did pay with money from operating expenses. I wonder how they will replenish these funds? Something doesn't smell right?
We need to ask ourselves, What Would Congress Do? What is going to be done about this?

2052 days ago

Cynthia J.    

What a bunch of money-grubbing PIGS. And, Sheryl Crow should be ashamed of herself. She's been so outspoken about fairplay and justice for regular working people and here she sells herself to corporate GREED at the expense of we struggling taxpayers. She makes me want to PUKE! Just goes to show you that many of these "entertainers" are nothing but money whores--sickening. Hey sheryl, PAY THE MONEY BACK!

2052 days ago


first suckas!

2066 days ago



2066 days ago


wait..... no option for both? utterly disgusted!

2066 days ago


Outrageous. This is EXACTLY the kind of behavior Obama said will no longer be tolerated under his administration. I know this bank money was distributed under Bush but I hope Obama calls them on the carpet and GETS OUR MONEY BACK from these jerks.

2066 days ago


Are you Americans going to put up with these douche bags spending all your money? Of cousre they would say it wasn't the tax payers money they spent, but we all know the truth

2066 days ago



2066 days ago

ya right    

so not cool, if what is being reported here is true----but it is not surprising

2066 days ago

me 2    

Hey number 4!!! Your precious Obama made the final public media push and call for the Bush bailout to go through you ignorant sheep. Obama is a puppet for the same puppet masters that pulled Bush's strings....duh! This country is now ran by foreign banks, not by the people. It all started when the Federal Reserve Bank was created. The ironic thing is that this is a private ran bank, not a government agency at all. Just do your homework and see who actually funded the Obama campaign. I bet you can make some connections with some of the banks in this story. TMZ I applaud this story, the best one every....yes better than O.J.'s adventure in Vegas, and even a little better than drunk Mel Gibson. I know this is an entertainment outfit, but in economic times like this, everyone must do their part in taking our country back from the banks.

2066 days ago


Its obvious some banks have not learned their lesson.
It would have been best to give the hundreds of billions of dollars to the people to boost the economy not to the banks.
Those banks that have failed just like the car industry should be left alone to go bankrupt.

These people have no mercy on struggling consumers so why should the consumers show mercy to them?

Someone needs a National Withdrawal Day!

2066 days ago


I blame TMZ!!! Its your fault and the rest of Hollywoods fault.You think John Mccain would of let this happen???? Everyone in the publics eye has to act like they like they agree with everyone with no morals because they are all SCARED of a fan backlash or a drop in ratings or by being hated by a certain group of people to grow a backbone and stand up for what they believe in and what is right. I know one thing that is NOT right and here is some clues...........sizzors......suctions tubes........and any type of tool to crush bone to do a procedure called "CRANIAL DECOMPRESSION" only after we drill a hole and use the suction tubes to get the brains out then "compress the skull" on a baby with the wonderful "particial birth abortion" that Obama likes so much!!! Hey PAM ANDERSON out in HOLLYWOOD LA LA LAND this shouldnt even happen to a DOG!!!!!!

2066 days ago

Turbotax Timmy    

Dear TMZ! Please do not expose our wealth transfer to the banks. The tax payers might catch on to us.

Yours truly,

T. Geithner

2066 days ago


OMG I'm SOOOOO suprised....

2066 days ago
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