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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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Previous 15 Comments | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19

jeff turner    

I think everyone should call 1-800-BAILOUT right now and tell the world how you really feel about the governments bailout mess. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!!!!!

2026 days ago


tbone @351: Does it matter if they are 4 TRILLION $ bank? Any DECENT client would understand curtailing expenses.
IS this bunch of profligates going to TAKE the government (OUR) money?
They OUGHT to be severely fined for showing such poor judgement but I don't believe there are any laws against doing what they did. The layoffs came at the wrong end of the corporate structure. The entire board of directors ought to thrown out......but I'm afraid that would cause their golden parachutes to kick in. The RICHEST of the RICH seldom lose.......OR give a damn.
You have the NERVE to mention SOCIAL RESPONSIBILTY?

2026 days ago

annmarie from Texas    

Roy: do you work for Northern Trust?
You sound like a PR agent.
Northern Trust may have been forced to take the money, but what's stopping them from giving it back?

You and your colleagues are part of the problem -- is that wy you're so indignant?
and stop with the babyish name calling. Grow up, my friend. Us artsy fartsy types have every right to question what you thieving bankers do with our tax dollars. this is the USA -- have you forgotten that?

2026 days ago


Who could question the sobriety of banks? They've squandered billions of their own money already, it's only fitting that the taxpayers hand them more.

This bank's not in the same situation as others. Bailing anyone out shouldn't even be an option. Businesses fail, ones that violate basic business and lending rules ignoring risk/reward deserve to fail.

Handing banks money that don't even need it is just insanity. Even Neil Bush didn't get a handout when he was convicted in the last banking scams, he had to take board appointments from family friends. So you can see, even the wealthy suffer at times.

2025 days ago

Jimmy Z    

Sometimes its hard to be a woman
Giving all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times
And he'll have good times
Doing things that you don't understand

But if you love him you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him
Oh be proud of him
'Cause after all he's just a man

Stand by your man
Give him two arms to cling to
And something warm to come to
When nights are cold and lonely

Stand by your man
And tell the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can
Stand by your man

Stand by your man
And show the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can
Stand by your man

(delivered with sarcasm dripping)

2025 days ago


Chicago based bank? Looks like not much has changed since Al Capone ran that town, except the crooks work inside the banks. Hey, wait a minute, isn't that where Obama's from? Guess they have a "Get out of testifying before Congress Free" card.

2025 days ago

Buffy went to Prison    

Doesn't surprise me- I lived through a Northern Trust good-ole boys network nightmare involving my own trust! This company has gotten away with so much crap, I hope to see it go up in flames... along with my ex-husband who is an attorney - People, don't get involved with attorneys or their best friends who are private bankers at any bank. You could end up being acused of taking your own money! Northern Trust is absolutely criminal in their protection and pampering of "loyal" customers.

2024 days ago

Nicole Briant    

I think it is outrageous that all of these banks get bail out money, and for what? They basically will not give out any loans at this time because of credit issues in the past, so how are they suppose to use this money? I guess by parteying it up with our tax dollars and f****** throughing it down the drain! Where the f*** is my bail out? None of us got a stimulus check and on top of it all almost half the nation is unemployed with out any money while the rest of the working force gets a whopping extra $13 dollars as a "tax cut" on their pay checks!!! This is ridiculous and something has got to change and fast! These bastards need to be thrown in jail for fraud the next time one of these bank douchebags spend our tax money!!!!

2022 days ago


THANK YOU TMZ for posting the dirt on Northern Trust Bank! Caught on the show tonight that after you posted the story, they ended up returning the $1.6 BILLION to the government. My husband and I were just talking about the BS of some companies blowing money on such events while putting thousands out of work. Glad to see some justice served! Hopefully Congress will be a bit more informed before dishing out that kind of money. Thanks Again for your fabulous service to the public =)

2022 days ago


Why are these ingrates partying on MY money? Why are they getting away with it? Who in Congress did THEY buy off?

The IRS ought to go after each and every one of them for wasteful spending and misuse of taxpayer dollars, I am dead serious.

2022 days ago

Greg Belter    

I smell a rat at a dirty rat see....

2021 days ago

Greg Belter    

Northerns Trust ;You rat you dirty rat....

2021 days ago

lucy viva las vegas    

hey mr president i guess we( las vegas) is not the only city that should be talked about, what about the rest of the usa, i guess they will (think) for once to whom they give the dang money 2

2021 days ago


WOW, big surprise that they would spend the money on themsleves, spoiled rich bastards. The bailout money should've went into the hands of the people. Everyone that is loosing thier home would've paid thier mortgage, so the banks would've gotten the money to free up credit and half of America would not be newly homeless. Plus since our economy is based on selfish consumerism anyway, the rest of us would have spent it on cars and big screen t.v.'s and gotten the economy moving. DUH!! Why the **ck is it so hard for the government to come up with a real answer? Because they don't actually want to fix America; with their new stock in the banks, pretty soon the gov't will OWN America. Oh, and the rest of us will be broke, sick, and homeless. While I'm ranting, if our govt wasn't so busy pouring our money into propping up failing countries and masking thier real motives, we would again have the money needed for AMERICANS.

2019 days ago


TMZ should be congratulated. By creating a sensationalist story out a out an otherwise nondescript event, enough fuss was raised that the Gov’t released their restrictions on the TARP money. Now Northern, along with US Bank, will be quick to give the money back. Money they never asked for, but were forced to take to make a fair playing field for the real looser banks! And all the publicity I am sure has garnered more business for the bank as well, for if a somewhat intelligent person actually researches the bank, they will realize that they are one of the most conservative and financially sound bank in the country. Oh, also thank TMZ for the billions in dollars that will not be spent by the other institutions for similar events. Billions that would have gone towards sponsoring events benefiting numerous charities, employing people in the hospitality industry, and filter down to the average person. Way to go TMZ!

2019 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19

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