Monday, October 13, 2008

Big Banks Get $125* Billion Cash Going Away Gift From Paulson and the Bush Administration

Please sit down before you read this. If you have high blood pressure or heart trouble don't even try to read this, find a decent sports page instead, this is not for you.

Approximately half of the first $250 billion tranche of money approved by Congress for the mortgage crisis will end up in the hands of the "healthy" big banks.

"For the good of the American financial system," Treasury Secretary Paulson has told the big banks they must take his $125 billion (Give or take a billion or two) handout, reports NYT.

Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase were told they would each get $25 billion; Bank of America and Wells Fargo, $20 billion each (plus an additional $5 billion for their recent acquisitions); Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, $10 billion each, with Bank of New York Mellon and State Street each receiving $2 to 3 billion. Wells Fargo will get $5 billion for its acquisition of Wachovia, and Bank of America the same for amount for its purchase of Merrill Lynch. So much for bailing out the mortgage market.

Here's the kicker: The shares will not be dilutive to current shareholders, a concern to banking chief executives, because perpetual preferred stock holders are paid a dividend, not a portion of earnings. In other words, all current shareholders are protected, unlike Lehman, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders.

No matter how they frame this,the truth is this is a roughly $125 Billion going away gift from the Bush Administration to Wall Streets elite.

UPDATE: The exact terms of the funding have been released by Treasury. For the first five years, the dividend on the preferred stock will be only 5%, not 10%. The full terms on the funding can be found here.

*Note I initially put the headline handout number, and number in the story, at $135 billion. The handout number is a bit unclear, so to be conservative I have lowered the total handout estimate to $125 billion


  1. I think we just got bent over the table and "injected with liquidity"

  2. Very Funny!
    I needed a good laugh to stop me from crying...
    People take back the power!