Signs of depression and default.
Howard Simons explains.
The question du jour is whether the Federal Reserve is going to prop up European banks the way it did the biggest U.S. banks three years ago. Remember TARP? Bloomberg reveals how the Congress-approved TARP investments in 2008-09 were just the tip of the iceberg. The Fed also provided under-the-table loans and guarantees totaling $7.77 trillion, or ten times the TARP support. The interest rate charged was as little as .01 percent, boosting net interest margins at recipient banks and allowing them to generate $13 billion in "free" income at a time when they were essentially insolvent. Find out what your favorite bank made in Bloomberg's interactive chart.