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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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106.

Dr. Adams    

Are we as Tax Payer's surprised?..."NO"...All the CEO'S of these failing banks and companies have they're heads so far up they're azz'es they can touch they're spleen's with they're tongues!! That includes all of Congress and the Senate, including the President for not keeping an eye on where our money is being 'wasted'..err...I mean spent!!!!

2033 days ago
107.

Lou    

What did America expect when they voted him in ...CHANGE! HE is just a man with words that people like to hear.

2033 days ago
108.

Kristina    

All the bankers need to burn in HELL. Lavish parties to make money, what a joke, that is tax payers money. They are spending money like the economy is no problem right now. Congress go get our money back NOW.

2033 days ago
109.

Bex    

Lord Xenu--you are a serious idiot!

2033 days ago
110.

spcc    

All I can say .........." AND THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST MONTH"

All of you Obama lovers just wait & see. You will be saying he's horrible by the middle of his term.
Heck, I'm sure even sooner.

I believe a lot of you probably did your homework & saw that 9 states didn't even WANT this stimulus bill to go through.

Hey, what are you all going to do with the big ole whopping 65 bux a month you'll be getting from this? LOL



2033 days ago
111.

Sono    

I'm glad President Obama worked so hard on the stimulus package, otherwise they might have been forced to shuttle people back and forth to that golf event in something less than Mercedes vehicles. Dear baby jesus, please let at least some of these banks executives get pushed into a pool of aids.

2033 days ago
112.

Lycan    

How anyone can be surprised just doesn't pay attention. This has been going on since the beginning. Not just with the investing firm that did all the hotel get aways when the first round came about but it's been going on to pay out golden parachutes etc. and the government has known about it and hasn't asked for any of the money back nor have they cut off the funds to these banks for misusing the money.

Doesn't matter who the bailout started under the fact is the money is not getting used for the purpose that it was presented as to the taxpayers and the current administration is at fault for allowing it to continue and not holding these people responsible.

The money is flying out the door, the amount is getting bigger and bigger and the government doesn't care. Remember all these politicans are in bed with these big business and banks, that is who they care about. Those are the people that bankroll the politicans houses, vactions etc. and gives them job security NOT the people that work, sweat and die to make the money.

So just expect more of the same.

Banks that are claiming to be in such dire stratis they need billions should not be spending this kind of money on "marketing" the money should be used to clean house and do what they whined about.

2033 days ago
113.

Deb    

I wanna know what Cheryl Crow was thinking about accepting this gig.

2033 days ago
114.

vanillagirl    

THANK YOU TMZ for bringing this to light. Keep up the good work on behalf of all of us!

2033 days ago
115.

Big Vowel Movement    

Ahh, Liberals , the democrats in Congress and those who voted the inept dysfunctional boobs into office.. Gotta love em. All smiles, swooning over Obey the One and Only, still blaming Bush and still given away the store…, and lovin it.... Barney Franks wasn't invited to this Boondoggle and that is why his shriveled up fuzzy knutz are in an uproar.

2033 days ago
116.

Big Vowel Movement    

Ahh, Liberals , the democrats in Congress and those who voted the inept dysfunctional boobs into office.. Gotta love em. All smiles, swooning over Obey the One and Only, still blaming Bush and still given away the store…, and lovin it.... Barney Franks wasn't invited to this Boondoggle and that is why his shriveled up fuzzy knutz are in an uproar.Z

Cheryl Crow only used one sheet of sheet paper to wipe her stinky butteautox, Never never shake hands with Cheryl Crow.

2033 days ago
117.

Just Me    

25. Easy solution - all customers of this bank should close their accounts and take their business elsewhere. So what if banks like this close? It's time we the people take matters into our own hands instead of whining about it, complaining the government isn't doing anything but then we don't do anything either. I haven't bought gas at Exxon since the Valdez horror and I stopped buying gas at Mobile when they merged with Exxon. I haven't been to a pro- baseball game since the strike of 94 and I refuse to support Wal-mart in any way, shape or form. I drive out of my way to support local mom and pop shops instead of chain stores when I can. If we won't stand by our principles then how in the world can we whine about the government or corporations ignoring them to?

If we want to see real change in this country it must start with us. Obama can only do so much but if we aren't willing to hold these CEO's and corporations accountable then why should he? So instead of blaming the bank or the gov't simply pull your money from this bank (if you have an account) and don't support any of the artists who agreed to participate in these events or companies that gave products (like Tiffany's though I doubt most of us can afford Tiffany's anyway!).



Posted at 1:41AM on Feb 24th 2009 by AQ

Here, Here!! You have my vote!
I would ask one more thing though-please everybody STOP using the self-check out lanes at ANY venue. Every time you do, you are helping to put another person out of work. Have you noticed every store/business keeps adding more? Even the Post Office! They all raise their prices, and then you do the work. The business does not have to pay wages, vacation, health insurance etc. for their computers, and you are giving them free labor! Good for the CEO’s/stockholders-lousy for the employee laid off due to “economic conditions”.
Please people, let’s stop helping to put our neighbors out of work. Do not use the self-checkouts anywhere.

2033 days ago
118.

GGG    

NORTHERN TRUST MUST GO DOWN. WHAT THE HELL - OBAMA NEEDS TO INTERVIEN HERE. THIS BANK NEEDS TO PAY ALL THE MONEY BACK OR THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO PAY THE TAX PAYING PEOPLE BACK!!!!!

GOOD WORK TMZ. THIS TYPE OF REPORTING IS WHAT WE NEED. SHOW THE PEOPLE WHAT THESE BANKS ARE DOING AND CALL THEM OUT!!!!!!!

2033 days ago
119.

What do you look like?    

This is the kind of behavior that spawned the French and Russian Revolutions, a clueless upper-class that cares for no one but themselves. Why aren't these people being held accountable? Even if they did serve time, they'll probably be out in no time ready to fleece again.

2033 days ago
120.

John    

TMZ - Stick to reporting trashy gossip. NT was required to take bailout funds. They actually tried to turn them down but were denied. This event has been going on the past few years and was accounted for in their operating budget. As for the layoffs, they were planned and mostly involved workers in London where operating expenses are ridiculously high.

To the people who are using TMZ as a reliable news source, please know your sources.

2033 days ago
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