Bloomberg has a very strong piece up – Wall Street Aristocracy – that should make for some interesting reading when we’re talking about who gets help from the federal government in times of economic stress.
In sum – the Federal Reserve loaned $1.2 trillion in 2008 to major US and foreign financial corporations to help keep them from going under. That, according to Bloomberg’s analysis was almost three times the size of the U.S. federal budget deficit that year and more than the total earnings of all federally insured banks in the U.S. for the decade through 2010.
Note these astronomical sums were all being loaned in secret – Bloomberg graphic
UPDATE – HuffPost does some follow-up enterprise reporting: A classic case of moral hazard