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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

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46.

RegularGuy    

Our Mayor was so mad when President Obama said that bailout money shouldnt be used for "extravagant trips to the SuperBowl or Las Vegas". These people are so out of touch with reality.They see no harm in this, Rich Bankers and CEO's just laid off hundreds, then spend millions on themselves.Its really sad, Then, the banks wont even give loans out unless your fico score is over 800. Its a shame. For the idiot who said that its an Illinois thing and Obama should have known about these people, where were you the last 8 years when Bush made so many companies in TExas rich. ( uh, Haliburton?). You have short memories.

1983 days ago
47.

anonymous    



It is Obama's fault!

1983 days ago
48.

kathy maldonado    

Is this the same bank that you guys caught Octomom withdrawing her donation money from to pay for her nails and her video games??? Might as well be. They obviously got that government bailout money and blew it as fast as they received it. Ever see the movie Brewsters Millions? Spend it all before it all gets taken away!! Except in this case, there is no prize at the end. I am a manager at my job and I had to write up 2 people for minor performance issues and 2 more were getting fired for extending lunch breaks. Companies are looking for any way to get rid of people so they can survive in these hard economic times, and you see something like this and it is disappointing to say the least. I think everyone that banks with this company should withdraw every penny and put it in a damn shoe box at home. The only thing that matters right now is cash on hand anyway. And you know, where are all the celebrities and musicians and why are they not helping out America? Why can they have huge concerts live Live Aid to raise money for issues in other countries? Why cant someone organize a 3 day Live Aid-type event to help raise millions of dollars to help people that have lost their jobs in the last year?? If they can raise 50 million dollars for other countries, why cant they do this here? Anyone listening??

1983 days ago
49.

wtf    

BTW is that fat blonde chick in pink over there ----------------------------------------------------> Heidi Montag?

1983 days ago
50.

America the Beautiful    

Absolutely unbelievable but if banks BECOME NATIONALIZED it will be worse...you will see the PROSTITUTES services on their gov't issued credit cards!!!!!! You know like how all the congress and senate people live!

1983 days ago
51.

TMZ_BIAS    

Not all the banks that received / were forced to take the bailout needed it. Some were told to take the money to help buy banks that were failing. This is a very dangerous area when you have the government and idiots at TMZ try to tell private companies how to run their business. Get your facts straight TMZ before you start throwing people and businesses under the bus.

1983 days ago
52.

watchdog    

It all leads back to the Rothschilds, who own the world. Do some research ignorant people!!! When is everyone going to wake up and realize just like #9, me 2 said, ever since the Federal Reserve, which is neither federal nor a reserve, was created, this country has really gone downhill? The fact that our government doesn't have it's own bank where it can print money is outrageous. WAKE UP EVERYONE!!! ANY president that gets into office is just a puppet for the Illuminati. They are just a puppet front to carry out their will.

1983 days ago
53.

Just Me    

If this story is true I applaud TMZ for printing it, and I sincerely pray the AP will pick it up. Middle class spending cannot occur, jump-starting the economy, when increasingly middle-class Americans are being cut from their jobs. The remaining employed people are supporting the events in this story (and others like it) with their taxes. And congress is surprised people are not spending? If you are unemployed, there is nothing to spend! Americans need to wake up and smell the coffee. Verbalize how you feel about the use of YOUR monies being used in the way this story outlines! Instead of corporate downsizing from the bottom up, why don’t they cut the fat from the top (where the multi-million salaries/perks are) and work their way down? There may just be enough money “found” to fix some of the problems!

1983 days ago
54.

Duffy    

Now aren't you all glad you voted in the Messiah, Uh, Well, uh, um

1983 days ago
55.

snugs    

to #4

*deep breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

change my ass. they're all the same. sorry you got duped like the majority of America did.

1983 days ago
56.

Kait    

23. And a note for all of the Obama bashers on here - um, WHAT PARTY PUT US IN THIS MESS OVER THE LAST 8 YEARS? Oh, that's right, it was the Republicans and Bush. Hmmm, seems to me we had the largest surplus in our history when Bush came in thanks to Clinton and in a matter of months Bush did to the country what he did to five corporations (including a MLB team) - ran it into the ground. So you can stop blaming Obama (who has only been president for just over 30 days might I add) and blame your darling Bush and the GOP for getting us so far into this that we took the rest of the world down with us. Yep, fine job great, mighty, rich, out of touch Republicans.

And you think McCain would have been any different than Bush? Mr. willing to be bi-partisan and work with Obama has been the one having the biggest hissy fits in the Senate and refusing to do anything at all to help the country. Fine show of 'country first'.

But alas, in the GOP world nothing is their fault. The last 8 years, no doubt, were the fault of Clinton and Obama even though neither was running the country during that time. Get a clue and maybe join the rest of us in the real world.


To 23, if you want to go in that direction then we might as well blame FDR for taking us off the gold standard, if we would of stayed on the gold standard the Fed wouldn't be allowed to print new money everyday to put into circulation to increase inflation. Obama hasn't helped the situation by leaving Paulson who has been quoted to say that " America has this wonderful invention called the printing press, we can just print more money" is that a solution? No, it will only increase our debt as a nation. Sure, Bush should of gotten rid of Paulson as well, but our debt and most of our problems don't stem from the Bush administration, but from presidents past administrations. Everyone acts like Obama is a savior, since when do our citizens plaster our president on their chests. Why do people hold their hands up in formation of an "O", if you ask me it eerily reminds me of the same signs the nazis held up with their hands in WW2. Obama isn't even doing anything to help our country not only did he let Robert Gates keep his position, but he said Congress passed a "monumental milestone" by passing the stimulus bailout bill. How does borrowing money from the fed fix our debt? It only increases our debt, and sure something will produce future revenue, but not everything he is dumping money into is going to produce that revenue. How can you all love a man who wants to change the national anthem, is for third trimester abortion (which is murder), and wants to re-write our constitution to change our right to bear arms. Anyone who is okay with that really needs to rethink their stand and possibly read the constitution and brush up on your history. The stock market has to crash, anyone who took principles of business would know this ( which don't politician take this in college or high school?) it is a recession, depression, and then a period of prosperity. They are trying to stop the inevitable.

1983 days ago
57.

yourmom    

If this is true, both ar to blame. And the people who particapate are also to blame, And I mean EVERYONE.

1983 days ago
58.

Danielle    

What the??? This bank should be SHUT DOWN. I'm so furious! Where is my bailout!!??

1983 days ago
59.

yourmom    

AQ, In answer to your question both parties and the American people themselves. Educate yourself, on how things are done in Washington. Also, look at the greed and the I want it now additude we have in this Country, what did people think would happen.

1983 days ago
60.

Bex    

This mess all started with Bill Clinton, truth be told. This is so out of control, when is somebody gonna do something? We keep electing the wrong people. I fear for the country, it is a disaster. I will quit my job and get on welfare before I keep paying for these banks and their utter nonsense. The govenrment doesn't have a clue what they are doing. It's scary!

1983 days ago
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