Many people are ignoring huge costs (to the economy) and benefits (to those financial companies that ruined so many people’s lives and severely damaged the economy. Paying back money the government paid you is not that same as being innocent. While several of the too big to fail banks have paid back the direct cash they were given that is not an indication they are now off the hook for their disastrous behavior.
First we know that much of the money “sent to AIG” just went directly to Goldman Sachs and others. Those big banks had taken risks and the only way those risks paid off was with billions from taxpayers. Without that they would have been bankrupt. And then when they paid the money they received directly they still haven’t paid back the billions they got from taxpayers (via AIG). And this money was paid back at 100 cents on the dollar though those instruments were trading for much less in the market (the government certainly would have found a less costly solution but for ignorance or a desire to reward their former company and friends at Goldman Sachs.
Second, rates have been kept artificially low, to among other things, allow the big banks to make tens of billions (and costing savers tens of billions). Those savers have not been reimbursed for the losses caused by the big banks.
And third if I gamble with money from my company and win my bet on the Super Bowl and then put the money back, I am still not innocent. Just because many of the big banks have paid back the money they were given directly by taxpayers does not mean they didn’t get huge benefits from the government. Pretending they are not bad guys because after ruining the economy, costing millions of people their jobs and savings, getting many benefits from the government, they then pay back the direct cash payments is not accurate.
Response to: The New Bank Tax
Related: Elizabeth Warren Webcast On Failure to Fix the System – The Best Way to Rob a Bank is as An Executive at One – Failure to Regulate Financial Markets Leads to Predictable Consequences – Jim Rogers on the Financial Market Mess – Congress Eases Bank Laws (1999)