I bet this news warms the cockles of your heart. As 47 million(15% of the entire population) Americans survive on food stamps and 20 million remain unemployed or under-employed, the Wall Street Big Swinging Dicks are reaping $120 BILLION in profits. They are also paying out in excess of $20 billion in bonuses in 2011. Remember the mantra about getting rid of the Too Big To Fail problem. Well it seems 1.4% of all the banks in the country accounted for 83% of the profits generated. Amazingly, these banks were able to generate these massive profits with NO INCREASE IN REVENUE. How could that be? Well, they have accountants who made journal entries and created tens of billions in earnings by pretending they won’t have losses in the future on the subprime loans they are dishing out today. Half of their profits are a sham. The other half has been absconded from the American taxpayers and senior citizen savers.
Ben Bernanke loans these fuckers billions of your money for 0%. They then turn around and buy Treasuries or game the stock market with their super-computers. Ben is providing them risk free profits at your expense as inflation for food and energy skyrockets. In the 3rd Quarter of 2008, when Wall Street practically destroyed the world with their feeding frenzy of insatiable greed and criminality, senior citizens and average Americans saving for their future were earning $1.42 trillion per year of interest income. Savings leads to investment and a better tomorrow. Today, Ben has destroyed the incentive to save with his zero interest rate “save the Wall Street Banks” policy. Savers are now earning $446 billion less than they did in 2008. This $446 billion has been essentially taken out of the pockets of average Americans and handed to the Wall Street banking cabal.
As senior citizens across the country decide on whether to have Alpo or cat food for dinner tonight they can rejoice in the record profits of the 20 biggest banks in the country. All Hail America – Land of the .01%.
US: Bank earnings hit five-year high in 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. banks are coming off their most profitable year since 2006, a sign that many have put the financial crisis behind them.
The surge in bank earnings came largely because banks suffered fewer losses — not because they took in more money. The slow recovery, record-low interest rates and weak demand for loans left bank revenue mostly flat for the year.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday that bank earnings rose in the October-December quarter to $26.3 billion.
And for the entire year, earnings rose to $119.5 billion. That’s 40 percent higher than the previous year and the most since 2006.
Banks with assets exceeding $10 billion accounted for almost all of the earnings growth last year. While they make up just 1.4 percent of U.S. banks, they accounted for more than 83 percent of the earnings.
Those banks include Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. Most of them have recovered with help from federal bailout money and record-low borrowing rates.
One reason for the higher earnings is that the banks, especially the largest ones, had set aside huge reserves to offset potential losses in the aftermath of the financial crisis and recession. When the losses from the businesses weren’t as deep in 2011, the banks were able to take large profits just from releasing those reserves.
The basic banking businesses of making loans, financing business plans and investing were hurt by the slow economic recovery and volatile financial markets.
Still, banks are much firmer ground today. Most of them have stronger balance sheets to withstand an economic downturn or a potential global financial shock. They are also better positioned to take advantage of the credit and financial needs of consumers and businesses.
Many of the largest banks complained last year that new regulations mandated by Congress have hurt their ability to make money and moved to charge new fees to make up the difference.
The effort sparked a backlash among consumers and fueled anti-Wall Street protests. Ultimately, the big banks dropped plans to charge customers for using their debit cards. But other fees have remained.
The number of banks on the FDIC’s confidential “problem” list fell in the fourth quarter to 813, or around 11 percent of all federally insured banks. That compares with 844 troubled banks in the previous quarter.
“The industry is now in a much better position to support the economy through expanded lending,” said Martin Gruenberg, acting chairman for the FDIC. “However, levels of troubled assets and problem banks are still high. And while the economy is showing signs of improvement, downside risks remain a concern.”
So far this year, 11 U.S. banks have failed. That’s far below the 92 banks that shuttered last year and the157 that closed in 2010 — the most for one year since the height of the savings and loan crisis in 1992.
Most of the banks that have struggled or failed have been small or regional institutions. They depend heavily on loans for commercial property and development. As companies shut down during the recession, they vacated shopping malls and office buildings financed by those loans.
Bank failures cost the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund an estimated $7.9 billion last year, down sharply from $23 billion in 2010. In the fourth quarter, fewer failures allowed the insurance fund to strengthen. The fund, which turned from deficit to positive in the second quarter of 2011, had a $9.2 billion balance as of Dec. 31, according to the FDIC. That’s nearly 18 percent higher than at the end of the previous quarter.
The FDIC is backed by the government, and its deposits are guaranteed up to $250,000 per account. Apart from its deposit insurance fund, the agency also has tens of billions in loss reserves.