Bank execs looting customers, shareholders and taxpayers

Some of the largest U.S. banks may be on the ropes these days, but the disparity between the plight of financial executives and ordinary Americans has never been starker. Over the past two decades, the banking system has grown accustomed to scoring massive profits by preying on its own customers, making 2009’s transition to pilfering taxpayer wallets an easy one.

After burying the economy under a mountain of unaffordable debt, bank CEOs are now finding ways to subsidize their own paychecks with taxpayer bailout funds.

Writing for The Nation, Christopher Hayes highlights a letter from a reader who questions malfeasance on the part of Goldman Sachs, which received $10 billion in taxpayer funds under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Executives at Goldman recently decided to pay back the government before it paid off the investment from billionaire Warren Buffett, even though Buffett is reaping double the interest rate that the government is receiving from Goldman.

The scenario speaks volumes about just how lousy a deal taxpayers got under the bank bailout. Paying Buffett back first would clearly be the better deal for shareholders of the Wall Street titan, as it would save them years of payments at higher interest rates. But Buffett’s plan does not involve the same restrictions on executive compensation that are included under TARP. By prioritizing the TARP repayment, Goldman’s top brass are screwing their own shareholders to guarantee a bigger payday.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the economy. Visit and for complete lists of articles on the economy, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical health and immigration issues, check out and This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of 50 leading independent media outlets, and was created by NewsLadder.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.