Six years after the greatest financial crisis in modern history, not a single prominent – and bailed out – banker or frankly any for that matter has gone to prison. Still, in the great squid pro non-jail quo, regulators and the DOJ have had to be appeased somehow. That “somehow”, as has been revealed over the past several years, is with quarter after quarter of massive legal charges, settlements, penalties and so on. Of course, since the banks wouldn’t exist in the first place if it wasn’t for a multi-trillion dollar taxpayer bailout, they don’t mind because the math is quite simple: being converted into a government utility is better than being bankrupt anyday. Also, it is shareholder **cough-cough taxpayer** money, not an actual revenue hit, oh, the horror.
So what is the total amount of shareholder (and by implication, taxpayer) money that has been spent by the bankers to distract regulators and the “cops” from not jailing a single one of them? According to the following chart from the WSJ, just the six biggest offenders have spent over a whopping $110 billion to keep the government happy and the US prison population in check.
Here, one could add a tangent, that the more money spent on settlements by any given bank, the more in need of a bailout it was in the first place. In which case one dreads to think just how bankrupt Bank of America will be when the next inevitable crisis hits, and how many trillions in taxpayer bailout funds it will need next time around…because don’t kid yourself, these folks are just as unstable as they were 6 years ago. Just raking in the cash while the taxpayer is still shelling it out.
This is how Wall Street/Washington tramples all over Main Street…………it be nice to see some outrage directed at the real criminals in this country, but worry not the next story of mass distraction will come as soon as Ferguson, MO moves aside or Hamas runs out of rockets.