Ordinary people have to borrow their money at market rates. Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon get billions of dollars for free, from the Federal Reserve. They borrow at zero and lend the same money back to the government at two or three percent, a valuable public service otherwise known as “standing in the middle and taking a gigantic cut when the government decides to lend money to itself.”
In a larger sense, the TBTF banks all have the implicit guarantee of the federal government, so investors know it’s relatively safe to lend to them — which means it’s now cheaper for them to borrow money than it is for, say, a responsible regional bank that didn’t jack its debt-to-equity levels above 35-1 before the crash and didn’t dabble in toxic mortgages. In other words, the TBTF banks got better credit for being less responsible. Click on freecreditscore.com to see if you got the same deal.
Wall Street has long grown accustomed to getting bailed out for its mistakes. … When was the last time the government stepped in to help you “avoid losses you might otherwise suffer?”
Bankers on Wall Street pay lower tax rates than most car mechanics.
The point being: we have a massive police force in America that outside of lower Manhattan prosecutes crime and imprisons citizens with record-setting, factory-level efficiency, eclipsing the incarceration rates of most of history’s more notorious police states and communist countries.
But the bankers on Wall Street don’t live in that heavily-policed country. There are maybe 1000 SEC agents policing that sector of the economy, plus a handful of FBI agents. There are nearly that many police officers stationed around the polite crowd at Zuccotti park.
These inequities are what drive the OWS protests. People don’t want handouts. It’s not a class uprising and they don’t want civil war – they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It’s amazing that some people think that that’s asking a lot.