Proving there’s always a bull market somewhere, and that even in times of wrenching crisis and panic there is money to be made, the following statistic via Bloomberg:
The six biggest U.S. banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., have piled up $103 billion in legal costs since the financial crisis, more than all dividends paid to shareholders in the past five years.
LOL, the lawyers always win – and lawyers representing bankers doubly so.
So here’s how this works:
The government and Fed lower borrowing rates for the banks for five years and even allow them to minimize losses on bad bets via asset repurchases and a change in accounting standards. This deprives savers of reasonable levels of income in safe assets and it forces seniors into real estate private placements and high-cost annuities. Fuck ‘em, what are they gonna do about it, write a letter?
In the meantime, banks return to record profitability and use all this cash sloshing around to fight off lawsuits, investigations, new legislation, etc. They’ve used bailout cash to lobby against rules that prevent them from needing bailouts in the future. It’s all so hilarious, $100 billion in legal bills paid by banks – for the protection of bankers – using the profits from emergency-era low rates, an emergency of their own making.
At least we know God hasn’t lost his sense of humor.