Alderman wants to punish Northern Trust after exec’s remark about slain reporter

Sneed exclusive . . .

The noise is now deafening.

Sneed has learned Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) plans to introduce a measure to the City Council Finance Committee on Monday striking Chicago’s Northern Trust Co. off its list of authorized city depositories because of a bank executive’s seemingly insensitive comment after the grisly murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which is leading to the doorstep of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“It’s absolutely disgusting that a company which does business with the city of Chicago would equate the murder and dismemberment of a journalist as being ‘just noise,’ ” said Lopez, referring to a comment by a Northern Trust executive, Michael Slater, while attending the October “Davos in the Desert” international economic forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at the invitation of the prince.

The forum, which began Oct. 23 — several weeks after Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey — was subsequently boycotted by many international bankers after news of the murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist writing on affairs of the Middle East.


Slater, who heads Northern Trust’s Riyadh office, who chose to attend anyway, was quoted describing the international firestorm and condemnation following the killing of Khashoggi as: “It’s just noise to me. The people I need to see are here, and that’s what I care about.”

The quote, reported in the New York Times, caused a Twitter tornado and a response from Northern Trust stating: “Northern Trust has been deeply concerned by recent reports regarding Jamal Khashoggi, and we regret comments attributed to one Saudi-based staff member on this matter. The comments, if accurately reported, do not reflect the views of Northern Trust.”

They also claimed Slater was not speaking as an authorized spokesman.

“His [Slater’s] words were insulting not just to the Khashoggi family, but to millions of people in Chicago,” said Lopez.

“Chicago places over $900 million a year in its various depositories and I for one do not want to see one dollar go to a company that disregards human life in such a cavalier way,” added Lopez. “Does he really classify dismemberment by a bone saw as background noise?

“In order for banks to receive city deposits by the city comptroller or city treasurer, they have to be on a list approved by the City Council,” said Lopez.

“Hopefully, we will be able to introduce this as an amendment to a city ordinance striking Northern Trust from the list of city depositories at the City Council meeting Wednesday,” said Lopez.

Jamal Khashoggi’s death will not go without US response: VP Pence
In Jamal Khashoggi case: Saudi calls, ‘body double’ after killing

On Thursday afternoon Sneed contacted Doug Holt, a Northern Trust spokesman, who claims he would have to “circle back” to me later.

Sneedlings . . .

Today’s birthdays: Hillary Clinton, 71; Keith Urban,51; and SchoolBoy Q, 32.

00-Pol RT,19-Legal,16-Econ,26-Delivered


via Chicago – Chicago Sun-Times

October 26, 2018 at 05:11AM

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