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April 9, 2019

Report: The RAP Sheet for Wall Street’s Biggest Banks’ Crime Spree

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or

Washington, D.C.  –  As the CEOs of Wall Street’s biggest megabanks appear before Congress, Better Markets is releasing a Report, “Wall Street’s Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets & Ongoing Crime Spree.” The Report, for the first time, details the Six Megabanks’ (1) taxpayer bailouts, (2) crime spree before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis, and (3) the fines and penalties involved.

“The Report released today details, for the first time, that, of the more than $29 trillion in total bailouts, the six biggest banks in the country (Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo) received more than $8.2 trillion, or nearly one-third of the total bailouts provided to the entire financial system,” said Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets.    

“These bailouts were sold to the American people as necessary to prevent the collapse of the financial system and to ensure that these banks continued to lend to the real economy.  However, as the Report also details for the first time, these Six Megabanks have engaged in an unrelenting crime spree.  It started before the 2008 crash, continued during the crash, and the number of major legal actions against these Six Megabanks has actually increased after the crash, as shown in the chart below,” continued Kelleher.

“Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for one Ponzi scheme, yet these Six Megabanks have engaged in decades of ongoing illegal activities without any meaningful penalties.  This shows that being saved from bankruptcy with $8.2 trillion in bailouts and that the almost $200 billion in fines, penalties and settlements simply haven’t slowed their ongoing illegal conduct,” Kelleher concluded.

[The full report can be found here.]








Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit



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