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Bailed Out Bank Parties With Sheryl Crow

Some more actual reporting from the celebrity gossip site, TMZ:

Bailout Bank Blows Millions Partying in L.A.

Posted Feb 24th 2009

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.

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:

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.

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.

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!

In truth this is fairly weak beer after the billions that we are watching being squandered.

But still, it reveals a certain mindset that has taken hold in some quarters.

And what a shock to hear that luminaries like Sheryl Crow were accepting this filthy lucre.

By the way, Northern Trust is the bank that holds the mortgage on the Obamas’ Chicago manse.

(Thanks to Kilmeny and CGardner for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, February 24th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

21 Responses to “Bailed Out Bank Parties With Sheryl Crow”

  1. CGardner says:

    Northern Trust of Illinois holds the mortgage to the Obama mansion.

  2. Chinnubie says:

    I get the idea that they took or in this case were forced to take bailout money, but I am getting a little sick-and-tired of the blame game! I mean come on these people have got to do business and these are the instruments that are used to get that on-going & new business. This is just another way for for democrats to use class envy against all Americans. I am fed up with the constant slamming of Capitalism. If these companies all begin to fear the ramifications of what the government or the press is going to say we are going to be in a heap of trouble not to mention headed down the road to socialism and not much further to communism. Does anyone think of the STIMULUS that is created when they go someplace and all of the extra money that is spent on and in the local economy. The tips the waiters make the extra rooms that get rented, the list goes on and on. So let’s get off the democrat playbook and start thinking about what is really going on. We talk about wanting to stimulate the economy and start spending money but then when somebody does we brandish them as evil. We need to get our priorities straightened out!!!!!

    • catie says:

      I have no problem with stimulating the economy enabling the “little people” (according to the likes of liberal a$$hats like Crow) to work-the waitstaff, cooks, etc. But it’s the constant drum beat from democrap talking heads that we are somehow wasting money. The bigger issue though for many of us is that the Obambi family received a mortgage that most people who aren’t “in the know” get. If you look into Northern Trust a bit more you’ll see they weren’t forced into anything. They needed that money. Isn’t that Penny Prinstker’s (sp?) bank as well. They gave mortgages to those they knew would not be able to pay back. Just a few thoughts.

  3. Confucius says:

    How horrible. Being forced to dine in an airplane hangar? Eating Angus and not Kobe beef? Listening to washed-up, narcolepsy-inducing bands from the 1970s? Then having to put up with that one-square-a-wipe Sheryl Crow?

    It’s worse than Gitmo.

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    Out of respect for Crow .. the attendees were only allowed one sheet of tissue in the toidee ..

  5. Steve says:

    Mr. Limbaugh is discussing this article as we type.

  6. proreason says:

    How much did you say the inauguration cost?

  7. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Typical. Libs throwing an extravagant bash while the economy is in the tank. But what else could you expect. Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

  8. MinnesotaRush stole mah thunder.

    Bravo.

  9. brad says:

    This is why all bailout money should have a string attached! So if we find out later, that after begging for money, they spent it like drunken sailors, that string gets pulled back. And nothing should be written about what constitutes “drunken sailor spending” either, b/c lawyers will just argue around it. It smells funny, it’s gone.

    Pay CEOs with “emergency” money, nope! ~YANK~!

  10. BillK says:

    OK, I’ve got to go against Steve and others here for once and say I have absolutely no problem with this.

    In fact, I’m getting completely tired of Barney Frank’s blustering, demanding a refund from a bank that didn’t ask for the money in the first place and was given it with no qualifications whatsoever – in fact, if you recall the TARP legislation even specifically said no one could question Lord Paulson’s judgement on any aspect of the program!

    If this “we gave you money, we can dictate what else you spend money on” trend takes hold, let’s ask the populace how they’d like the College Loan Police:

    If you’ve received money from the Federal Government for a student loan and are caught buying beer or junk food or otherwise spending money in a way that Congress doesn’t think you should, you’ll be hauled off as an example of Government “waste.”

    They’d never go for that – in fact you can imagine how anyone who did due diligence and tracked the spending of those on welfare or food stamps would be excoriated by the MSM for daring to do so.

    But banks? Hey, they’re worthy of bashing now, so why not?

    Of course, TMZ delighted in pointing out that the money was given to the bank during the Bush “bailout” and took it as another opportunity to Bush bash. Personally I think this is yet another example of why TARP wasn’t needed in the first place (it was such an “emergency” that half the original fund hasn’t been distributed yet?!?!)

    There was, and is, absolutely nothing wrong with what the bank did.

    Think about it for a minute – did the party attendees stay at hotels? Eat at restaurants? Rent cars? In general, spend money?

    Why, yes they did.

    Even though no bailout funds were used, is it wrong to spend money at all now?

    I guess hotels, rent-a-car agencies and concert venues should just lay off everyone and shut down operations now.

    I just don’t get it, or why people here would want to join Barney Frank in attacking a business for not operating the way he thinks they should.

    S&L isn’t alone – Fox and others have taken glee in pointing out how this evil bank actually spent money to attract and keep customers and reward employees. No, not that!

    Think about it, 12 Gauge – you’re actually agreeing with Barney Frank and the “we gave you money, now we can control you forces” in Congress.

    I’m serious when I say I’m completely disillusioned with S&L right now as I’d expect most everyone here to be as upset about the media’s hyper-focus on this as I am.

    I really hope Northern Trust cuts Congress a check and says “Here’s the money we didn’t want in the first place. Now we’re going to continue doing business in the manner we see fit. Now #$@! off.”

    Further the next time the Government offers cash that banks can use to buy other banks that would otherwise fail, I hope the larger banks tell the Feds to pound sand and let the smaller banks fail and make the FDIC clean up the mess.

    I certainly believe the CEO of Wells Fargo wishes he just would have let Wachovia crash and burn now, or at the least would have let it drag down Citicorp.

    This isn’t like the auto companies where say GM is holding a multi-million dollar party after handing their “Give us $40 billion or we’ll go bankrupt and cost you $180 billion” ultimatum to the Government.

    It’s like getting a birthday check from your Grandma and then having her turn around and ask for a refund because you bought a video game instead of a nice sweater with the cash.

    • Flession says:

      I’m siding with BillK on this one.

      In all seriousness, I don’t have a problem either. They’re actually doing what they’re supposed to be doing and..well..spending the money to help stimulate the economy.

      It’s like people getting pissy over the “Private Jet fiasco” and whatnot.

      How much money do you think it takes to maintain a private jet? Or to build it. It actually creates a lot of jobs…which, once again, I thought it was what we were after.

      If Nancy Pelosi can still fly around in her nice jet that was paid for by government funds long before this crisis, banks should be able to spend their money on lavish parties and private jets.

      We can’t be hypocrtical about it.

    • Odie44 says:

      Billk –

      Interesting post – I do get where you are coming from, but do not think the ends entirely justify the means here.

      Drug dealers also spend money within an economy – as did Madoff. I am sure he paid huge amounts in tips, services, products and goods. BUt it doesn’t make who and what they are (Madoff, drug dealers and NT) right.

      To start with – every bank out there with an overnight deposit, assets, CD’s, income vehicles or loan capacity does so with Fed funds. It is not an autonomous entity. WHich brings me to the second point – being there is a tie in to the fed gov. by default – what rate of return was NT looking for in hosting 3 concerts, Tiffany bags, etc. How much did they spend and what are they getting out of it? That is the larger problem with all banks – whether mortgages, CD’s, interest, money markets, assets held, debts carried – what decisions are making money vs short term greed that loses money.

      I assume NT cannot quantify the ROI, but instead would give a qualitative “good for relations, business, heavy hitters, etc”

      All should be under scrutiny and review.

    • BillK says:

      Why Odie44, and by whom?

      Who should be poring over the records of a private business to second guess how they choose to run their business?

      Except for blatant fraud, anything a bank does should be no different than anything any other private business does.

      Sure, if the bank had, like GM, gone to Capitol Hill hat-in-hand, begging for cash, that would be one thing.

      But they did not; instead the Government said “here, have some cash.”

      It’s very much, to stretch my tired analogy a bit further, like the difference between a student loan and a scholarship.

      In the former case, the Government actually does have some vested interest in seeing that other monies spent by the recipient aren’t such that the recipient can’t be a successful student.

      On the other hand, once a scholarship is awarded, it’s no business of the sponsor whether the recipient uses any tuition money they may have saved that is now offset by the scholarship amount for books, for food and housing, or for booze and prostitutes.

      What Northern Trust did was perfectly legal and was, in fact, a normal way of doing business. Has been for decades.

      Do you honestly believe the PGA tournaments Tiger Woods plays at are mere “sporting events?” Of course not, they too are de facto business meetings as well.

      Further, look at any sports venue in the country – those corporate-owned box seats aren’t exactly free, costing in most cases six figures per year plus individual event ticket costs, yet most people do realize they are usually used for business-related purposes by those corporations, or as a perk for executives or a special treat for employees.

      I guess if banks own any box seats at sporting venues those should be put up for sale immediately too, just to be consistent, right?

      Where does the insanity end?

      If the Government is going to get so involved, just socialize the banks already and be done with it. Don’t pretend to be supporting private business while pulling on the marionette strings.

      Otherwise let them operate as private businesses and let the chips fall where they may, save for FDIC-secured deposits.

      This doesn’t mean Madoff-like fraud – that’s illegal and should be prosecuted to the limit of the law.

      But last I checked, sponsoring a golf tournament and having musicians play concerts was not a violation of anything.

      Especially as it was done with the bank’s own money, not TARP funds.

      You note that banks operate with Fed funds and that should come into play, but by that same token all of the cash in your pocket also says “Federal Reserve Note.”

      Does that mean the Federal Government should also have a say in what you do with that money, other than trying to make sure you do not use it for illegal purposes?

    • proreason says:

      BillK is right.

      There are 2 outrages here, and neither has to do with the party itself.

      The first is the predictable hypocricy of Sheryl Crow and the second is the audacity of TMZ in judging Northern Trust.

      – Note that Northern Trust did not request the bailout money.
      – Note that the party was associated with a PGA event, and that PGA events have sponsors and that being a sponsor entails accepted behavious. It’s called MARKETING people, and is totally legitimate. Should IBM stop adverstising for goodness sake.

      As BillK says, don’t get trapped into the Drooling Barney Frank’s school of command and control socialism, which is says that only Drooling Barney can dictate how businesses should spend their money.

  11. canary says:

    Billk/ what an appropiate name.

    Billlk “fact, I’m getting completely tired of Barney Frank’s blustering, demanding a refund from a bank that didn’t ask for the money in the first place and was given it with no qualifications whatsoever – in fact, if you recall the TARP legislation even specifically said no one could question Lord Paulson’s judgement on any aspect of the program!”

    There “were” stipulations to include the executives spending capped.

    Billk, You say “If this “we gave you money, we can dictate what else you spend money on” trend takes hold, let’s ask the populace how they’d like the College Loan Police:”

    If the banks didn’t want to follow the regulations you pretend there is none of, then the banks should not have taken the money. The poplulace can tell you exactly the stipulations they were givin in repaying the government back for their loans. Course, you never grew tired of Obama’s constant whining of he and his wife paying back their student loans, after all everyone deserves Hartford education, and even though the Obama’s enjoyed milking paying back those loans, living the American dream in their half million condo, and children in private schools, but whine whine for having to pay them back. Course now we all get to go to Hartford for free. Certainly not a verbal promise thing, there are stipulations. Nothing is free. but course Obama is magic.

    Bilker, you say “If you’ve received money from the Federal Government for a student loan and are caught buying beer or junk food or otherwise spending money in a way that Congress doesn’t think you should, you’ll be hauled off as an example of Government “waste.””

    Oh please. this is mute, as it hasn’t happened. You can tell how you lived the American dream owing the governement money, your friends not paying taxes, and get elected as President of the U.S. Obama even admits rules were bent in order for him to get past the waiting list at his elite prep school, but still, didn’t think it was fair his classmates all had swimming pools. Oh cry me a river.

    Billk says ” But banks? Hey, they’re worthy of bashing now, so why not?”

    Yes, the banks could use some bashing, and so could Obama for giving them a penny.
    Ya see, the banks have become more sleazier then new and used car salesman. All their revolving, equity home loans, and b.s. promises and lies, and unfortunatly too many ignorant and uneducated falling for loans contracts written in such a way, that it’s most probable the bank will get nothing but interest up front, and get the house back too.

    Billk, Of course, TMZ delighted in pointing out that the money was given to the bank during the Bush “bailout” and took it as another opportunity to Bush bash.

    guess I missed this.

    Billk, you say “Personally I think this is yet another example of why TARP wasn’t needed in the first place (it was such an “emergency” that half the original fund hasn’t been distributed yet?!?!)
    There was, and is, absolutely nothing wrong with what the bank did.

    Nothing wrong with sleazy politicans either. They seem to be rewarded.
    Yep, the spent a lot of money like movie stars.

    Billk/you say”S&L isn’t alone – Fox and others have taken glee in pointing out how this evil bank actually spent money to attract and keep customers and reward employees. No, not that! ”

    Sounds like politicians to me. They only meet to think of new cry baby stories to get more funds from the Governement. By the way, were you invited.
    Have you gone over the loans that the banks have been writing up??? Go ask for a loan, and watch the deciet and cleverness. You can spend all day asking them to change the wording, put something in writing, it’s worse than buying a car.

    Billk/you say “Think about it, 12 Gauge – you’re actually agreeing with Barney Frank and the “we gave you money, now we can control you forces” in Congress.”

    ? Billk are you saying the governement should just hand out money. Dream on.

    Bilk/you say “I’m serious when I say I’m completely disillusioned with S&L right now as I’d expect most everyone here to be as upset about the media’s hyper-focus on this as I am.”

    Frankley I don’t think this country is putting enough focus on what Obama’s regine is doing. And truth is not dillusional.

    Billk says “This isn’t like the auto companies where say GM is holding a multi-million dollar party after handing their “Give us $40 billion or we’ll go bankrupt and cost you $180 billion” ultimatum to the Government.”

    no Merril Lynch just bought a 30,000 dollar toilet.

    Bilk says “It’s like getting a birthday check from your Grandma and then having her turn around and ask for a refund because you bought a video game instead of a nice sweater with the cash.”

    Do you really expect the federal government is to be our Grandma??? The governement never meant the payouts to be a birthday present. Though I am glad Obama hasn’t gone as far as promising a birthday present of any kind to every American once a year. You might right Obama’s change site, and ask for a present, but be sure and tell him, no strings attached. Happy birthday.
    Didn’t your dad teach you, nothing comes free. check for strings attached. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t? any of those sayings ring a bell? Why dont’ you fill out the long application with many personal questions and go to work for Obama, and fix the banks.

    Now while I can’t print the entirety of the regulations that came with the money, here is a small stipulation, that the banks who took the money knew of. Just as the banks make their tricky worded contracts and it’s our responsiblity to read the small print, so should have the banks. And this is just a tiny bit, they agreed to. They were never told it was a birthday or Christmas present. There is no Santa! There is no Easter bunny! No tooth Fairy!

    “Are there any executive compensation restrictions for participating institutions?
    Yes. As a condition to the closing of the Senior Preferred investment, the participating institution and its senior executive officers covered by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (the “EESA”)1 are required to modify or terminate all benefit plans, arrangements and agreements (including golden parachute agreements) to the extent necessary to be in compliance with the executive compensation and corporate governance requirements of Section 111 of the EESA and any guidance or regulations issued by the Treasury on or prior to the date of the investment. This condition shall be in effect for so long as the Treasury holds any equity or debt securities of the participating institution.

    Specifically, the participating institution must:

    ensure that incentive compensation for senior executives does not encourage unnecessary and excessive risks that threaten the value of the participating institution;
    require clawback of any bonus or incentive compensation paid to a senior executive based on statement of earnings, gains or other criteria that are later proven to be materially inaccurate;
    prohibit the participating institution from making any golden parachute payment to a senior executive based on section 280G of the Internal Revenue Code (the “IRC”); and
    agree not to deduct for tax purposes executive compensation in excess of $500,000 for each senior executive.

  12. BillK says:

    I see nothing prohibiting providing benefits to rank and file employees nor in doing marketing, which is all this was.

    You can’t add strings after the fact. You can’t sit there and complain about an institution did with their own private money just because they received additional monies.

    If the TARP bill had said “receipt of funds indicates that the United States Congress has the right to veto any expenditures made by the institution receiving the funds” that would be fine.

    It did not.

    Where did all the complaints about executive compensation come from?

    In this case the bank sponsored a golf tournament.

    They didn’t write million dollar checks to senior executives “based on statement of earnings, gains or other criteria that are later proven to be materially inaccurate.”

    I don’t think the Government should be handing out cash, but at the same time restrictions can’t be put on the cash after it’s been handed out.

  13. Gladius et Scutum says:

    That all of BillK’s critics were of the same caliber!

    I see something more sinister in the outcry over the corporate extravagance with taxpayer money. For years now, the left has called for limits on executive compensation. All executives, taxpayer funded or not. Is there not a logic to saying that, although Wall Street firm X did not receive federal funds, it benefited from the bailout as certainly as if it had? Did not TARP save the banking industry as a whole? There is more ambition on the left than they are willing to show immeadiately.

    12ga.: Nero did not play the lyre while Rome burned. That rumor was started by his enemies in the Senate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_Rome

    • proreason says:

      Puzzler…..why should there be limits on executive compensation, but no limits on the unearned and criminally accumulated wealth of the Kennedy family, or the Kerry’s, or the Pelosi’s.

      Just wondering.

  14. canary says:

    The issue isn’t setting limits on anyones wealth. The issue is setting stipulations on money of tax payers to the federal government hand-outs. And I consider the banks having an enron party for sometime. The entire government for that matter. I think the books are cooked to such a point, no one knows. And as swift as the money is being doled out, there was no time to study the issue. My experience was attempting to get a small loan which I’ve not in years. Good credit, great collateral, bank has records for ten years. No other loans out. No risk. Only risk was mine. Smiling bank, as they try and sucker me into a revolving home equity loan with my home as collateral. And I was told so much b.s. isn’t this great. All my enquiries were b.s. stuff that would never have been put in the writing of the loan. Then I’m told I would have to watch the news everyday and check the present mortage rates. So, I calculate and show figures, and look!!! You want my house. This all adds up to you probably getting my house which there is major demand for in marketing. Realitors and mortgagers always trying to get my neighborhood to sell our houses. I say I want a fixed loan. That still gives you a chance to get my home, if I don’t pay. The banker becomes a different person. Of course interest sky rockets. I ask what the penality is for paying off the loan early. 500 dollars. I say okay. I hear we banks need to make money. I tell them you are making money on the loan I want, and you could end up with my house, but of course I’m not going to let that happen. So, go to another lender. Well, they will only lend me twice or more of the amount I needed. I don’t need that much money. Then another bank, and it starts out with the same cheery revolving home equity loan which all the financial experts and banks say you should not do. So, Obama gets elected, and I will do without a loan. Then there are my credit cards that I pay on time, full amount owed. They don’t make money off me. They are going up on the annual interest, and so started on a date, prior to my recieving the notice. Then I do more reading, and the bank writes to read the Wall Street Journal to keep up with the prime rate. I guess this is better than watching the news everyday. So, this means there is no gaurantee of any interest rate on credit cards anymore? Then an article comes out, explaining that where I live the banks are getting 500% annual interest rates. Duh, I already knew this, and explains why “we” whoever we are, aren’t having problems like they are in California. So, I don’t think anyone honestly, knows what exactly is going on. And there is no way in hell, that the stimulous package could have been studied.
    So, my son comes home, after his art teacher and classmates (he didn’t want art, twice he’s had to take this elective. Even with adopting the lottery for years now, course some of us knew the schools would never see it as promised. “Our state schools are pathetic” and teacher discussed with class how wonderful Obama’s speech was. My son was going to ask what they thought of infants getting free education. So, I pointed out, I had to pay for art fee for an elective class he did not want. And that the money has been distributed, and our schools and even the 50 million towards art is not going to aid his teacher or these students. We have no computers. I already don’t like to see local taxes or state taxes on some of the art work, that we are paying for with taxes, that no way even cost what they charge. These children will have a rude awakening within the next 4 years. I am glad so many watched the speech. Cause we have some schools like the school Obama used as a poster school, if not worse, and the money is gone. And I’d really like to see pictures of this school under the railroad, that Obama claims he helped.
    The news warned us about credit card companies sending notices in unofficial mail that might look like their junk mail they send. They were right. So, I notice the “cross” symbol instead of the * symbol, which means to find it in small writing at the end. I can’t make a cross with my computer, so
    “cross symbol” How Your Variable Rates are Calculated: We calculate your variable rates by adding a perentage to the Prime rate published in the “Money Rate” section of The Wall Street Journal on the 25th day of each month. If the Journal is not pulbished on that day, then see the immediately preceding edition. If Prime changes, your new rate will take effect on the first day of the following month’s billing period.” My bank of 14 years didn’t tell me which news to watch for this. Maybe buy shares to the Wall Street Journal?
    I suggest no one make any moves right now. I dont’ even trust shares in Gold with Obama in office.


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