Some will rob you with a six gun and some with a fountain pen – Woodie Guthrie
Like mushrooms popping up in a damp basement, a slew of court settlements have been registered recently involving the big banks and their role in the financial crisis. An informal review of settlements over the last two years reveals about 16 multi-million dollar payouts from the big banks amounting to some $1.6 billion in fines and restitution and $13 billion in buybacks of auction-rate securities that were represented to be as safe as cash.
Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? But when fines are stacked up against an elite white-collar crime spree worth trillions, it is a little less impressive.