Back in August when Bloomberg first scoured the depraved depths of the almost-30,000 pages of FOIA-released Fed documentation surrounding the biggest ever bailout in history, the sheer volume of the loans, ultra-low cost of funds, and lying-through-their-teeth nature of the bank CEOs was enough for some vindication of tin-foil-hat-wearing fringe blogs. In this month's Bloomberg Markets magazine, much of this is rehashed but the truly incredible part - though not entirely shocking to us - is the magnitude of the profits that the banks amassed directly as a result of these 'secret' bailouts. Almost a quarter of their entire income was generated during this period from bailout-related sub-market funds. Over $13bn profit was 'appropriated' during the crisis with Citi and BofA among the largest profiteers.
For those with the stomach for what is the highest form of crony capitalism writ large and explained in its clearest and most egregious manner yet, the article also has an interactive chart of the banks' profit-gains direct from the Fed's bailouts during this period. Dean Baker's quote from the article perhaps sums up our perspective at the time and now:
"banks were either in bad shape or taking advantage of the Fed giving them a good deal. The former contradicts their public statements. The latter - getting loans at below-market rates during a financial crisis -- is quite a gift."
Another notable perspective was:
"Banks don’t give lines of credit to corporations for free, why should all these government guarantees and liquidity facilities be for free?"
Perhaps the growing awareness of this secret bailout and huge profiteering by the banks will bring a renewed focus on the words and deeds that spew from the banks and we note that Sentor Kaufman (of the defeated Brown-Kaufman proposal) unequivocally states...
"we’re absolutely, totally, 100 percent not prepared for another financial crisis."
...when they come begging for QEnnn and further direct assistance (claiming M.A.D.) as the European crisis highlights the deleveraging that still faces the global financial system and the balance sheet 'holes' that will need to be filled.