America has been sold a bill of goods: the millions and billions of dollars in fines levied on, or penalties agreed to by America’s major financial institutions for causing the financial crisis of 2008 are paid to the Federal and state governments for the benefit of us, the taxpayers.
That is a bald faced lie, galling because it is made by our government elected to protect our interests. In fact we, the taxpayers and consumers, are paying the fines, the real facts being obscured by and with the complicity of our government: we are paying the fines and in fact being double billed.
The fines and settlement dollars just keep rolling into the Treasury. Citigroup has agreed to pay $395 million fine for fraud or misrepresentation in 3.7 million mortgages sold to Freddie Mac, after agreeing in July to pay $968 million to settle similar claims made with Fannie Mae. The Bank of America agreed to pay $3.6 billion in penalties and buy back an additional $6.75 billion of fraudulent loans.
The SEC, the weakest of the regulatory agencies that failed in its appointed task to safeguard financial markets, keeps a tally of its sorry accomplishments. As of September 1, 2013 it reports that it has charged 161 entities and individuals of which 66 are CEOs, CFOs or other senior corporate officers; that it has ordered penalties or agreed to settlements of $1.53 billion; that it has ordered disgorgements of “profits” of $800 million and obtained additional monetary relief of $400 million for a grand total as of September 1 of $2.73 billion.