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Ten Years After the Crash, Wall Street Banks Are Doing Great While Main Street Families Struggle

$583 Billion in Profits at the Five Largest Banks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the 10 years since Wall Street greed and recklessness caused the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the five largest banks have raked in more than $583 billion in profits, according to a Public Citizen tally (PDF).

“With no jail time for executives and half a trillion in post-crisis profits, the big banks have made out like bandits during the post-crash period. Like bandits,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.

In sharp contrast with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs, many American families are still struggling. A new report by the Urban Institute finds that nearly 40 percent of Americans had trouble paying for basic needs such as food, housing or utilities in 2017.

Wall Street banks have managed to staff financial regulatory agencies throughout the Trump administration with their own alumni, who’ve used their positions to back financial deregulation. Meanwhile, Wall Street has pushed Congress to dismantle the safeguards put in place after the last crisis to prevent the next one, secured a sweeping retreat in enforcement and won a massive tax handout benefiting the ultra-wealthy and big corporations — tens of billions of which went directly into the coffers of the largest Wall Street banks.

“Wall Street’s grip on Washington is painfully evident in the corporate tax giveaways and deregulatory favors that Congress routinely bestows to this bonus-besotted industry,” said Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.