MacroScope

Beverly Hills, 9021-owe?

Anyone up for a $395 million Rodeo Drive shopping spree? 

Apparently the latest recipient of U.S. Treasury cash is the City National Bank in posh Beverly Hills.  According to the Los Angeles Times, the bank is taking part in the government’s $250 billion cash infusion and made no promises about how it would use the $395 million it’s getting.

The government funding “clearly enhances our financial capacity to make acquisitions and … to lend to a larger degree,” Russell Goldsmith, chief executive of City National Corp, told the newspaper.

About 20 banks are expected to announce soon that they’re getting government cash in exchange for preferred shares. Some members of Congress have complained that Treasury is handing over the money with too few strings attached, and they want stricter rules on how the banks must use the money.

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

The table is set for the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in the U.S. Treasury’s marbled and gilded Cash Room.

But some extra guests are coming.

Alexei Kudrin

kudrinsmall

There are three spaces at the far western end with name cards for Russians: Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin, and central bank chairman Sergei Ignatyev. Russian officials were invited to participate in an “outreach dinner” on Friday night that will focus on bank failures and rescues.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is to be seated at the center of the table draped in white, made up portable sections set in a rectangular arrangement.