Though lots of people grumble about the government bailing out banks in the financial crisis, we have at least taken some comfort in the idea that the government has turned a profit on that bailout.
Only problem is, that profit comes from taxpayer money -- money that was meant to spur banks to develop communities and help small businesses. Instead they've used it to develop and help themselves.
All told, including dividend, interest and other payments, U.S. banks have repaid the government $211.5 billion under the Capital Purchase Program (CPP), the first phase of the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), according to a report Thursday by the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog. That's more than the $204.9 billion the banks initially got under TARP.
$211.5 billion minus $204.9 billion equals profit, right?