Putting Bank Fines in Context: Ritholtz Chart

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg View columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He blogs at the Big Picture and is the author of “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy.”
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This morning we discussed the danger that arises from merely fining banks instead of prosecuting them for violating laws.

Since the news cycle is focusing on the potential multibillion-dollar fines for BNP Paribas SA and Bank of America Corp., let's have a look at the amount of those potential fines in some context:

The total from the chart above is $87.53 billion. That seems like a lot of money until you compare it with the amount spent during the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). TARP had outflows of $611 billion and inflows of $642 billion according to ProPublica.

That should provide some context for the amount paid by the banks so far....

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Barry L Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net