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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."

285 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

toofastforyou!    

OH NO YOU DID'NT...YOUR TYYING TO RUIN MY GOOD REPURTATATION BY PUTING ME ON THIS 5 minute delay...c'mon...I try hard to please my fan's who are in complete aww of me & this just sucks!!!

1881 days ago
32.

bob    

IM JUST SICK THINKING HOW MUCH THESE PEOPLE ARE SPENDING ON MY DIME,CLOSE THIS BANK NOW ,,PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS NOW,,,,,THIS IS NOT RIGHT,

1881 days ago
33.

oprah    

hey you fools, don't you get it? Obama supported this event....they used the money he received from foreign terrorists during his campaign

1881 days ago
34.

Beyonce    

THIS IS DISGUSTING!!!!!! This Bank should be closed down for being IGNORANT and STUPID!!! People are losing their jobs and barely getting by and these FAT UGLY PIGS are spending taxpayer's money like IDIOTS. OBAMA, if you are a MAN and really do want CHANGE then YOU MUST REPRIMAND this bank and their behavior!!!! TAKE THE MONEY BACK!!!!!

1881 days ago
35.

Michelle Cale    

It is a shame as I sit here and my hubby is in Iraq fighting to protect the Constitution and democracy I sit back here without him, I try very hard to make ends meet and am unable to work due to having to be on call for my child and her medical conditions there for so she can have a normal life at school and if they call I have to run to administer her breathing treatments and I have to try and strech what little money I have to survive and feed my children and pay my outrageous gas and electric and other bills as I am a renter- I sit here looking at this pure CRAP in amazement that tho I did not VOTE for OBAMA I have seen ZERO help from him to us middle class family members borderline poor people that struggle to make ends meet all the while this is what I read and hear and see going on around me and it makes me ill beyond what words could ever describe. I am fed up. I thank TMZ for getting this information out to the publc as SO many other venues in the media LIE and cover up the facst, the truth about how these bailouts are being specnt. My gosh I wish they would have invited me along I assure you they would have a mouthful from not only me but all us REGULAR NOBODIES!
What a shame is all I can end this with.....

supportarmysoldier.com

1881 days ago
36.

akconstant    

I am pretty blown away they have the nerve to add the patronizing anecdote about the minorty golfers as if this is going to please Obama enough to not scream! Thanks for reporting on this TMZ.

1881 days ago
37.

MaribelLaReina    

My dad works for this bank for the LA region and attended all events....this is so hilarious to me

1881 days ago
38.

Just Read    

Did ANYONE read the full statement that Northern Trust put out? It sounds to me that the Government went to them to help bail out THE GOVERNMENT!!! If the US Government invests 1.6 billion in Northern Trust and Northern Trust shows an annual return of 78.8 MILLION, where's the problem? Just because TMZ calls it a bail out, doesn't make it true.
If a company like Northern Trust signs a contract over a year ago to do a total of 5 charity golf tournaments, that raise millions for Los Angles, they should honor that contract. It is BS that signing a contract like this would help 450 people loss their jobs.
This is not as big as Harvey wants it to be.

1881 days ago
39.

Democrats are evil    

Democrats are just so stupid and everybody knows that you can't fix stupid. Put the country at risk with bank bailouts and then be surprised when they waste the money away. Why would any SMART individual think that a company that put itself in that position in the first place, would act responsibly with free billions of dollars. Capitalism is the right to succeed and the right to fail. The banks should have been allowed to fail. But Democrats couldn't let that happen because they strong armed banks to make risky loans and said they would guarantee them. Oh, I forgot, this is all George Bush's fault. It's never the fault of the people who are really responsible, is it? And now Barrack Obama has increased the national debt ten fold. You just can't fix stupid, can you.

1881 days ago
40.

J4    

So don't blame it on the bank?? Blame it on Obama?? Get over it, you guys lost. And I think the musicians and the HOB, etc should take some blame. Sheryl Crow? Like she needs the dinero.

Oh, and Northern Trust has LARGE offices in Newport Beach, La Jolla and Rancho Mirage, hardly just in Chicago. And funny, but my mortgage rate is the same as the Obama's - and we live in a small tract house in SoCal. The Obama's was taken out in 1995, same year as ours. Big deal.

On the other hand, lots of folks (waiters, bartenders, valets, etc) probably got some good tips and made a few extra dollars. Good for them! Money going back to regular folks!

But if you feel you have to blame anyone, blame the GOP wingnuts for letting Dubya steal two elections!

1881 days ago
41.

LH    

"From housebound grandmothers who rely on charity meal deliveries, to ailing retirees who cannot pay rising costs for medications, older Americans feeling the pinch of the financial crisis are getting angry and forming groups with names like "Senior Outrage."
In New York, with city and state tax revenues tumbling, benefits and services to the elderly are being cut, and many older residents are furiously drawing comparisons to the billions of dollars spent to bail out banks -- and pay Wall Street bonuses."

"New York City's Department for the Aging, which runs more than 300 community centers for aging residents and provides services such as food delivery to the homebound, affordable housing and heating subsidies, has cut its 2009 budget by $4 million to $285 million and faces another proposed cut, of $9.5 million, in 2010."

Don't just read TMZ's report and crawl back into your warm bed, people. Organize and REVOLT!!!

1881 days ago
42.

John Edwards    

This is another perfect examole why none of these compsnies and I mean none of them should be bailed out. If you screw up, you pay the price and let the chips fall where they may. People will hopefully get smarter and not repeat these mistakes but probably not. Our goverment is corrupt and most of our population is fat and stupid. Kill all the politicians.

1881 days ago
43.

Anita    

That's just like the Mormon church claiming no tithing money is used for building their $2.5 Billion commercial mall in SLC.

When in fact ALL their money came from tithes at one point or another.
Damn liars !!

1881 days ago
44.

Kim    

This is absolutely disgusting. I really hope this is brought to the attention of the administration and is righted somehow. Any ideas? This just has to come to an end!! Embarrassment is not enough to stop these banks. How about some nice prison terms.

1881 days ago
45.

Ellen    

all i can say is good job TMZ for posting this. this country is really starting to disgust me.....the middle class is a dying breed

1881 days ago
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