Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No trust

So the government lends taxpayers' money to the banks with the idea that they would then lend that money to people to get the economy moving again. I know there were other objectives to lending money to banks , but that was one of them. So what does Northern Trust (a/k/a No Trust, to me) do with some of their money? It spends the money on schmoozing clients for the Northern Trust Open, a golf tournament.

Now, No Trust argued that it didn't spend the bailout money, of which it received $1.5 billion, on the event, which included concerts by Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire and Sheryl Crow as well as hotel rooms at the Ritz Carlton. But my response to that is, how badly could the bank have been hurting if it had other money to spend on the event?

If No Trust is doing so well now that it can throw money away on party time, then maybe it should repay that $1.5 billion tout de suite. No Trust also argued that the schmoozing was part of its marketing program, and a No Trust spokesman said, "It's about client relationships and showing appreciation for clients." Really? I wonder how many of the people No Trust put up in the Ritz and who were in attendance at all those concerts were just regular "clients." I wonder if Joe Average, who has a checking account with No Trust that contains maybe a few thousand and a savings account to match, was a part of these events. Because he's a client too, and many more like him. He might not be a whale, but he put his trust in No Trust just like anyone else. So what No Trust is really saying is these events were for lucrative clients and building those relatoinships. And to that I say, it wasn't just the lucrative clients' money that made up that $1.5 billion No Trust received. It was Joe Average's too. I think it's time for No Trust to pay Joe Average back. All $1.5 billion.

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