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In Northern Trust We Don’t Trust

Northern Trust bank, who recently took about 1.6 BILLION dollars in bailout money, was caught throwing a party with Chicago and Sheryl Crow performing on stage over the weekend.

In response, members of Congress wrote the bank a letter asking for the equivalent of the money spent on the event to be returned.

Can you guess what Northern Trust SVP Douglas Holt said?

“We paid for these events ourselves.”

Oh really Mr. Holt? That was your own money?

Look, It doesn’t matter that you “didn’t ask” for the bailout money. The fact is, you took it. Enough of it, in fact, to pay off the mortgages of 6,400 homes valued at 250K each. Not only that, but due to the fact that you did indeed take the money, you are and should be held to a higher standard. Once the money is in your possession, there is no material difference between that money and the cash you already had.

In your statements, you pretended that you didn’t even want to take it in the first place…but now you’re refusing to give it back. How do you explain something like that? And how do you reconcile your statement with the fact that in December, you laid off 450 people?

Look, you were really let off the hook when Congress only asked for the money you spent on this affair to be repaid. In reality Congress should be demanding all 1.6 billion back. Any Congress worth it’s salt would write a letter sounding more like this:

Dear Mr. Holt et. al.,

It is apparent that you understand neither the gravity of this country’s financial situation nor the purpose of the Capital Purchase Program monies (always wanted to use the word “monies”) you accepted. In consideration of your obvious lack of intelligence and tact, we hereby order that you return all of the money provided to you under the CPP exchange.

Congress as well as the American people refuse to invest in companies who show poor management of scarce investment dollars and certainly expect executives who have received taxpayer money to:

  1. Exercise sound stewardship and decision making,
  2. to use common sense,
  3. to set a fiscally responsible example,
  4. and own up to their mistakes where they have been made.

Mr Holt, you have failed in all aspects of these expectations, and we now demand full repayment in lump sum, including interest. Please find wire instructions attached.

And please…grow up.

The Guvermint

For all the details on the story, read here (ABCNews).


1 Allen Taylor { 02.24.09 at 7:45 pm }

Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

Allen Taylor

2 The Other Drummer { 02.24.09 at 9:31 pm }

Once again, great post. When are you going to start writing on a regular basis?? I love your content.

Also, is that a Moleskine I see in your Flickr stream?

3 Brett { 02.25.09 at 1:00 pm }

Thanks Dave. I have no plans to write on a regular basis—I leave that to the copywriter and just fill in as needed. 🙂

Yes, that is a Moleskine. My first black one actually, I’ve only used kraft up to now.

4 Leslie { 03.23.09 at 3:28 pm }

I think you should run for President!