In the last four quarters, the six largest Wall Street banks have made $63 billion, the most they’ve made since 2006. Despite having pushed the nation to the brink of economic collapse, and after receiving billions of taxpayer dollars, the banks are back to where they were when the housing bubble inflating.
However, according to Bloomberg News, a return to sky-high profits isn’t enough for the banking industry, which reacted to the numbers by whining about regulation and “a backlash against bankers”:
Those billions of dollars in profits aren’t enough, according to interviews with more than a dozen bank executives and analysts. The lowest leverage in a decade, return on equity at a third of 2006 levels, higher capital requirements, shares trading below book value, declining bonuses, job cuts, the European sovereign-debt crisis and a backlash against bankers have damped the joys of profit, they said.
Thes six banks — Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley — “will have combined profits of $9.9 billion in the third quarter, $17.4 billion in the last three months of the year and $75.8 billion in 2013” according to estimates. “When the banks say, ‘We’re doing very well but not getting a return on our capital,’ it’s completely incomprehensible, and it’s angering to the average American,” said Michael Greenberger, a former regulator who now teaches at the University of Maryland’s law school.
The banks’ return to massive profitability also refutes the argument that the Dodd-Frank financial reform law will cripple the ability of financial services companies to make money. According to a recent study, the nation’s banks went right back to making risky loans after receiving their taxpayer-funded bailout.