Wall Street Gets Paid for the Demolition AND the Salvage

Since the stock market only goes up and everyone’s on the verge of being play-money billionaires again, we’ve probably overlooked something pretty sick that’s been going on.  As much fun as the Wall Street i-bankers had demolishing the economy like a drunken Godzilla crashing through the Tokyo skyline, they’re making even more money from the cleanup effort!

Which is awesome.  And by “awesome” I mean completely insane.

But Heidi Moore has (thankfully) shed some light on just how lucrative it’s been for the wreckers to become the salvage crew.

From Marketplace:

But more interesting than what happened during the first quarter is what has happened since 2008. Thomson Reuters created a list that showed that the major source of business for the investment banks for the past two years has been – of course – the federal government.

Thomson Reuters has a nice list of the companies that paid the most fees to Wall Street between January 1, 2009 and March 31, 2011: count the bailout babies for yourself. (I put the year they paid the most fees in parentheses).

  1. Fannie Mae: $1.6 billion ($941 million in 2010)
  2. Freddie Mac: $1.25 billion ($600.4 million in 2010)
  3. Citigroup: $1.14 billion ($830.7 million in 2009)
  4. AIG: $980 million ($617.5 million in 2010)
  5. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group: $938.4 million
  6. Federal Home Loan Banks: $816.3 million ($393 million in 2010)
  7. HSBC $807.1 million
  8. Government National Mortgage (Ginnie Mae): $800.6 million ($452.9 million in 2010)
  9. Bank of America Corp.: $760.3 million ($630 million in 2009)
  10. German State Entities: $715.5 million

Must be nice to get paid cleaning up messes that you’re, in part, responsible for.  it would be like if the EPA put GE on salary to clean up all those chemicals they poured into American waterways over the years.

A joke.  But what isn’t these days?

Run, don’t walk, over to Marketplace to read the rest of Heidi’s piece.


Bailouts: The Investment Banker Employment Act of 2008 (Marketplace)