That title is intentionally provocative.
But, if Bloomberg's research is accurate, it is also true.
The top five banks -- JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. - - account for $64 billion of the total subsidy, an amount roughly equal to their typical annual profits (see tables for data on individual banks). In other words, the banks occupying the commanding heights of the U.S. financial industry -- with almost $9 trillion in assets, more than half the size of theU.S. economy -- would just about break even in the absence of corporate welfare. In large part, the profits they report are essentially transfers from taxpayers to their shareholders.
[Related -Should You Buy HP's Stellar Rebound?]
There's a problem with this, of course.
You didn't consent to it.
The banks have effectively extorted this from you. They have taken it with literal threats of "financial Armageddon" and "tanks in the streets" if they do not get this subsidy, year in and year out.
And more to the point they level an even-worse implicit threat on a daily basis at Congress and the Administration -- the literal destruction of the government's funding, immediately and permanently, which has come about because the government is borrowing more than one third of every dollar spent.
[Related -Why I Like Financial Stocks For 2014]
The so-called "Primary Dealers" are the reason for this perversity. The Treasury Department and Administration, with the full knowledge and consent of Congress, has become a willing and intentional partner to this and you, the people of America, have and continue to take in the shorts.
Now $83 billion is, in the light of a $1 trillion annual deficit, not the biggest number out there. But I remind you that the sequester, which Obama is now having an apoplexy over despite being the individual who proposed it, has an impact this fiscal year that is less than the amount stolen from you via this subsidy.
In other words, but for this forced transfer of your money to these banks, (1) they would not make a profit but would pretty-much break even, so they would not go out of business, and (2) the sequester would be completely balanced out -- its net cost would be very close to zero!
There are two gigantic scams in this nation that are bleeding it dry, and which no American should tolerate. This is one of them; in addition to the direct subsidy documented by Bloomberg there are indirect subsidies in the form of hundreds of billions in transaction volume that have passed through these firms under fraudulent pretense and yet which go unpunished, whether that be in the form of robosigning, money laundering or other crimes that you and I, the common man, would face indictment and prosecution over while these banksters simply pocket the loot.
The second, which I've been writing on for years in the Ticker in the "health-care system", is now starting to poke its ugly head out in the mainstream media as well.
So here's my question folks -- where's your threshold, politically and otherwise, for refusing to sit for these acts that, were you or I to engage in them, would land any of us in pound-you-in-the-butt federal prison?