House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney “I’m the boss of you” Frank (D-MA) worked himself into a serious snit yesterday when he demanded that Northern Trust (President Obama’s bank and mortgage holder), arguably one of the most well capitalized and profitable of the TARP funded banks, return to the government the money the bank spent on entertaining clients at the Northern Trust Open last week.
Frank, along with several other similarly obtuse congressmen, sent a letter to Northern President Frederick H. Waddell scolding and shaming him for spending tax payer funds on business development. (Never mind that Northern actually makes a profit or that the bank was brow beaten into taking the TARP funds. Never mind that the Northern sponsorship of the tournament, which they contracturally agreed to two years ago, has resulted in millions of charitable donations to Los Angeles inner city outreach programs).
This is the new face of Government for businesses that choose to take on Congress as a financial partner. If there were any doubts as to how federal intervention in the private markets would play out they should be gone now. Barney and his buddies are the boss now. Not satisfied with scolding bankers about private jets, the massive egos of Frank & Co. want to micromanage every aspect of these banks.
This incident should be submitted as Exhibit A when taxpayers start complaining about the types of cars Detroit produces after their new Congressional masters finish with that bailout.