As MegaBanks Post Massive Profits (Again), Everyday Americans Are Falling Behind

Many Working Families Not Seeing Benefit from Trump’s Trickle-Down Tax and Deregulation Policies


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The numbers are in. The biggest banks are still in the black by billions of dollars despite the Trump administration’s claims that ‘overregulation’ is impeding industry success. Major banking institutions including Citibank, JPMorgan, and Bank of America collectively reported over $30 billion in profits last quarter, with much credit going to Trump’s multi-trillion-dollar tax cut that mostly benefited corporations and the super-rich. Even scandal-plagued Wells Fargo announced $6.2 billion in profit, up 19% from last year. But as banking executives contemplate how to blow their next million-dollar bonus, numerous economic indicators paint a less rosy picture for everyday working families, including the record numbers of consumers who have fallen behind on their auto loans, the 40 percent of Americans who say they couldn’t afford a $1,000 emergency, or the one-fourth of Americans who believe they will never retire.

“The world’s tiniest violin is standing by for the next time the Trump administration claims big banks are struggling under regulations designed to prevent another financial crisis. $30 billion cash can wipe away a lot of tears,”said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for consumer watchdog group Allied Progress. “That’s $30 billion in profits that were fueled in part by taxpayers, but only shareholders and CEOs are seeing any sort of return on that investment. While the administration remains fixated on helping an industry that is already swimming in cash – pushing literally hundreds of proposals for weakening or scrapping financial regulations – they’ve marginalized millions of Americans who consider themselves worse off today than they did before the financial crisis. Trump’s tax cuts for the rich have made no difference to the families still living one emergency away from bankruptcy. The administration’s decision to halt most enforcement actions against bad behavior on Wall Street has not lifted a single person’s wages on Main Street. The Americans who are barely scraping by in this economy would be the least equipped to deal with the fallout from another financial crisis. That’s why the administration’s refusal to rein in the same kind of risky behavior that caused the last one is so dangerous.”

Earlier this year, Allied Progress launched www.BigBankFacts.org and ran an ad campaign, “Not Just Wells Fargo”, detailing how the big banks have made out like bandits on the taxpayer dime despite ongoing and systemic problems that have harmed millions of consumers. It’s why Congress needs to step in and do what the Trump administration has refused to do: hold big banks accountable.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Trump’s Economy: The Biggest Banks Reported Over $30 Billion In Profits Last Quarter While Consumers Continue To Struggle

Citigroup Reported $4.8 Billion In Profits Last Quarter—Crediting The Trump Tax Cuts And “A Splurge In Share Buybacks”—The Bank Gave Shareholders $4.6 Billion Last Quarter And Gloated About Its Plans To Give Them A $62.5 Billion Handout In The Next Year.

In The Second Quarter Of 2019, Citigroup Raked In $4.8 Billion In Profits And Handed Out $4.6 Billion To Shareholders, Crediting Donald Trump’s Corporate Tax Cuts And “A Splurge In Share Buybacks.” 

Citigroup Took $4.8 Billion In Profits Just In The Second Quarter Of 2019 (Q2), An Increase Of 7%, Crediting Its “Lower Tax Rate” Of Just 22%. “Citigroup net income of $4.8 billion in the second quarter 2019 increased 7%, driven by the higher revenues, the reduction in expenses and the lower effective tax rate, partially offset by the higher cost of credit. Citigroup’s effective tax rate was 22% in the current quarter compared to 24% in the second quarter 2018.” [Press Release, Citi, 07/15/19]

  • In May 2019, The Congressional Research Service Found That The Trump Tax Cuts Nearly Halved Tax Rates For Corporations “While Individual income Taxes Barely Budged.”“A new Congressional Research Service report shows the 2017 Republican tax law had a very muted impact on overall economic growth. Rather, the main consequence was that real tax rates for corporations fell by nearly half while individual income taxes barely budged.” [Dylan Scott, “The GOP tax law’s lopsided giveaway to corporations, explained in one sentence,’ Vox, 05/29/19] 

Citigroup Gave Shareholders $4.6 Billion Through Stock Buybacks And Dividends In 2019’s Second Quarter. “During the second quarter 2019, Citigroup repurchased 54 million common shares and returned a total of $4.6 billion to common shareholders in the form of common share repurchases and dividends.” [Press Release, Citi, 07/15/19]

Citigroup’s High Earnings Were “Boosted By A Splurge In Share Buybacks.” “Citigroup kicked off bank earnings season on Monday with solid results that were boosted by a splurge in share buybacks. The stronger-than-expected earnings from Citi (C) suggest America’s big banks continued to chug along during the second quarter in the face of a challenging economic and market backdrop.” [Matt Egan, “Citi starts bank earnings on a positive note thanks to buybacks,”CNN Business, 07/15/19]

Over The Next Three Years, Citi Plans On Doling Out $62.3 Billion To Shareholders Through Stock Buybacks And Dividends.

After Citigroup’s Passed The Federal Reserve’s 2019 Stress Tests, The Bank Was Permitted To Give Its Shareholders A $62.3 Billion Handout Over The Next Three Years. “During the quarter, we received a non-objection from the Federal Reserve for our 2019 CCAR submission. That will allow us to meet the goal we set at Investor Day to return at least $60 billion in capital over three CCAR cycles. Our $21.5 billion capital return will raise the three-year total to $62.3 billion.” [Press Release, Citi, 07/15/19]

  • Over The Next Year, Citigroup Will Hand $21.5 Billion To Shareholders Through Stock Buybacks And Dividends. “In June, Citigroup won approval from the Federal Reserve to pay out another $21.5 billion to investors in dividends and buybacks in the next 12 months.” [Telis Demos, “Citigroup Reports Higher Earnings as Bank Results Begin,” The Wall Street Journal, 07/15/19]
  • The Comprehensive Capital Analysis And Review (CCAR) Is Also Known As Stress Tests. “In a year where most of the 18 institutions taking the second round of the Federal Reserve’s stress tests showed improvements over 2018, JPMorgan Chase and Capital One struggled, with both forced to adjust their capital plans in order to meet the central bank’s minimum thresholds. All of the large banks graded under the Fed’s annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review test ultimately cleared the mark […]” [Hannah Lang, “Banks clear CCAR stress test — though JPMorgan Chase, Capital One barely,”American Banker, 06/27/19]

For The Second Quarter In A Row, JPMorgan Reported A “Record” Profit Of Over $9 Billion While Giving $7.5 Billion To Shareholders.

JPMorgan Reported That Its Profits Grew 16% To A “Record” $9.7 Billion Profit In 2019’s Second Quarter, Just Months After It Reported A “Record” Profit In The Year’s First Quarter. 

JPMorgan Reported A “Record” $9.7 Billion In Profits, A 16% Increase From Last Year, Due To $768 Million In “Income Tax Benefits.” “Net income was a record $9.7 billion, up 16%, which included income tax benefits of $768 million related to the resolution of certain tax audits.” [“Second Quarter 2019 Results,” JPMorgan & Chase, 07/16/19]

Just Last Quarter, JPMorgan Chase Reported A “Record” $9.2 Billion In Profits. “Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, commented on the financial results: ‘In the first quarter of 2019, we had record revenue and net income, strong performance across each of our major businesses and a more constructive environment.’” [JPMorgan First Quarter 2019 Results, JPMorgan Chase & Co., 04/12/19]

  • “JPMorgan Chase Reports Record Net Income Of $9.2 Billion, Or $2.65 Per Share, For The First Quarter Of 2019.”[JPMorgan First Quarter 2019 Results, JPMorgan Chase & Co., 04/12/19]

JPMorgan Doled Out $7.5 Billion To Shareholders In The Second Quarter Of 2019, Part Of The Bank’s Plans To Repurchase $29.4 Billion in Stock Over The Next Year And Hike Shareholder Dividends.

In The Second Quarter Of 2019, JPMorgan Said It Repurchased $5 Billion In Stock As Part Of The $7.5 Billion It “Distributed To Shareholders.” “$7.5 billion distributed to shareholders in 2Q19 […] $5.0 billion of net repurchases and common dividend of $0.80 per share.” [“Second Quarter 2019 Results,” JPMorgan & Chase, 07/16/19] 

After It Passed The Federal Reserve’s 2019 Stress Tests, JPMorgan Announced It Would Buy Back Up To $29.4 Billion In Stock, In Addition To Increasing Shareholder Dividends. “[JPMorgan] will raise dividends to $0.90 from $0.80. In addition, the company has authorized gross common equity repurchases of up to $29.4 billion between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 under a new common equity repurchase program.” [Michael Van Schoik, “JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo plan healthy dividend hikes,”Yahoo! Finance,06/28/19]

  • The Federal Reserve Approved “‘Virtually All’” Of The Biggest Banks’ Capital Plans, Allowing Them To “Boost Dividends And Share Buybacks” For Investors. “The Federal Reserve announced on Friday that ‘virtually all’ of the nation’s largest banks are meeting expectations for capital planning and have the green light to boost dividends and share buybacks. Only one of the country’s 18 largest banks is required to address limited weaknesses identified in the second round of the Fed’s annual stress test. Credit Suisse passed the test, but is restricted from raising payouts until the issue is addressed.” [Michael Van Schoik, “JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo plan healthy dividend hikes,”Yahoo! Finance,06/28/19]

Despite “Years Of Scandal,” Wells Fargo’s Profits Have Jumped 19% To $6.2 Billion Thanks To The Bank’s “Surge” Of Stock Buybacks That Have Nearly Doubled Since Last Year—With Wells Fargo Planning On Over $23 Billion In More Buybacks Through Next Year.

Wells Fargo’s Profits Have Jumped 19% Since Last Year, Due To “A Surge Of Buybacks” And The Bank “Nearly Doubling” Its Shareholder Handouts. 

Despite “Years Of Scandal,” Wells Fargo Posted $6.2 Billion In Profits For 2019’s Second Quarter, Up 19% From Last Year Due To “A Surge Of Buybacks.” “Wells Fargo’s bottom line grew steadily in the second quarter as the big bank tries to recover from years of scandal. The San Francisco lender reported a profit of $6.2 billion, up 19% from the prior year. Per-share profits, boosted by a surge of buybacks, easily topped Wall Street’s expectations.” [Matt Egan, “Wells Fargo’s profit climbs despite CEO search, pressure from rates,”CNN, 07/16/19]

In The Second Quarter Of 2019, Wells Fargo Repurchased $4.9 Billion In Stock, “Nearly Doubling The Amount From The Year Before.” “Like other big banks, Wells Fargo continues to return vast amounts of cash to shareholders. The bank repurchased $4.9 billion of stock during the second quarter alone, nearly doubling the amount from the year before.” [Matt Egan, “Wells Fargo’s profit climbs despite CEO search, pressure from rates,”CNN, 07/16/19]

Wells Fargo Announced That, Beginning Next Quarter, It Would Repurchase $23.1 Billion In Stock Through 2020 And Boost Dividend Pays Out To Shareholders. 

After It Passed The 2019 Stress Tests, Wells Fargo Announced It Would Buy Back $23.1 Billion In Stocks And Increase Its Shareholder Dividend Starting In 2019’s Third Quarter. “[Wells Fargo] expects to increase its third-quarter 2019 common stock dividend to $0.51 per share from $0.45 per share, upon the board of directors’ approval. In addition, Wells Fargo plans repurchases of up to $23.1 billion for the four-quarter period. The company may also consider redemptions or repurchases of other capital securities.” [Michael Van Schoik, “JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo plan healthy dividend hikes,”Yahoo! Finance,06/28/19]

  • The Federal Reserve Approved “‘Virtually All’” Of The Biggest Banks’ Capital Plans, Allowing Them To “Boost Dividends And Share Buybacks” For Investors. “The Federal Reserve announced on Friday that ‘virtually all’ of the nation’s largest banks are meeting expectations for capital planning and have the green light to boost dividends and share buybacks. Only one of the country’s 18 largest banks is required to address limited weaknesses identified in the second round of the Fed’s annual stress test. Credit Suisse passed the test, but is restricted from raising payouts until the issue is addressed.” [Michael Van Schoik, “JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo plan healthy dividend hikes,”Yahoo! Finance,06/28/19]

Last Quarter, Goldman Sachs Doled Out Over $1.5 Billion To Shareholders As Profits Fell—And Plans To Boost Dividends By Nearly 50% And Ratchet Up Its Stock Buybacks By $2 Billion Over The Next Year.

Goldman Sachs Gave Shareholders A $1.5 Billion Handout As The Bank’s Profits Fell 6% Last Quarter—And Plans To Ramp Up Stock Buybacks By $2 Billion And Boost Its Shareholder Dividend By 47% Over The Next Year.

Goldman Sachs’ Profits Fell 6% In The Second Quarter Of 2019. “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. […] quarterly profit fell 6% as the cost of the Wall Street bank’s pivot toward Main Street began to weigh.” [Liz Hoffman, “Goldman Sachs Reports Lower Profit, Revenue,” The Wall Street Journal, 07/16/19]

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Handed Out $1.57 Billion To Shareholders Through Stock Buybacks And Dividends. “During the quarter, the firm returned $1.57 billion of capital to common shareholders, including $1.25 billion of share repurchases (6.2 million shares at an average cost of $200.73) and $319 million of common stock dividends.” [Second Quarter 2019 Earnings Results, Goldman Sachs, 07/16/19]

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon Claimed,Our Financial Strength Positions Us To Return Capital To Shareholders.” Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said, “our financial strength positions us to return capital to shareholders, including a significant increase in our quarterly dividend in the third quarter.” [Second Quarter 2019 Earnings Results, Goldman Sachs, 07/16/19]

Starting In The Third Quarter Of 2019, Goldman Sachs Will Be Ramping Up Stock Buybacks From $5 Billion To $7 Billion And Boosting Its Shareholder Dividend By 47%. “The firm received a non-objection from the Federal Reserve Board related to its CCAR 2019 capital plan, which includes up to $7.00 billion in common share repurchases and $1.80 billion in total common stock dividends, with a 47% increase in the quarterly dividend to $1.25 beginning in the third quarter of 2019.” [Second Quarter 2019 Earnings Results, Goldman Sachs, 07/16/19]

Bank Of America Had “Record First-Half Profit” And Touted Its “Commitment To Responsible Growth,” Which Included Handing Out $600 Million More To Shareholders Than The Bank Earned Last Quarter, Plans For $30 Billion In Stock Buybacks Through 2020, And The Firing Of 100,000 Workers.

Bank Of America Had “Record First-Half Profit” This Year, With $7.35 Billion In Profit In The 2019 Second Quarter Alone.

Bank Of America Had “Record First-Half Profit” This Year. “Under CEO Brian Moynihan, the bank delivered record first-half profit, fueled by its retail lending operations and Moynihan’s expense initiatives.” [Hugh Son, “Bank of America beats analysts’ profit estimates on retail banking strength,”CNBC, 07/17/19] 

Bank Of America’s Profits Jumped To $7.35 Billion In The Last Quarter, An 8 Percent Increase From The Prior Year. “The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank, the second-largest in the U.S. by assets, posted a profit of $7.35 billion, an 8% increase from the $6.78 billion a year earlier. […] Second-quarter revenue was $23.08 billion, up from $22.55 billion a year ago.” [Rachel Louise Ensign, “Consumers Lift Profit at Bank of America,” The Wall Street Journal, 07/17/19]

As Bank Of America’s CEO Touted A “Commitment To Responsible Growth,” The Bank Announced It Gave Out $600 Million More To Shareholders Than It Took In Revenue… 

Bank Of America’s CEO Attributed The High Earnings To A “Commitment To Responsible Growth.” “‘Our commitment to responsible growth resulted in the best quarter and first-half year of earnings in our company’s history,’ [CEO Brian] Moynihan said in the earnings release.” [Hugh Son, “Bank of America beats analysts’ profit estimates on retail banking strength,”CNBC, 07/17/19]

In The Second Quarter Of 2019, Bank Of America Gave Shareholders A $7.9 Billion Handout, $600 Million More Than The $7.3 Billion It Earned. “In the second quarter, we generated $7.3 billion in earnings and delivered $7.9 billion back to shareholders.” [Press Release, Bank of America, 07/17/19]

The Bank “Repurchased $6.5 Billion In Common Stock And Paid $1.4 Billion In Common Dividends.”[Press Release, Bank of America, 07/17/19]

…And Bank Of America Plans To Hold Over $30 Billion In Stock Buybacks And Hike Shareholder Dividends By 20% Beginning In 2019’s Third Quarter. 

Bank Of America Announced It Would Raise Its Shareholder Dividends A Full 20% And Buy Back $30.9 Billion In Shares Through 2020, Beginning In The Third Quarter Of 2019. [Bank of America’s] dividends will rise by 20 percent, and the company will return as much as $37 billion to common stockholders. Its quarterly common stock dividend will increase to $0.18 per share. It has been authorized to repurchase approximately $30.9 billion in common stock from July 1 through June 30, 2020. The buybacks would include approximately $0.9 billion in repurchases to offset shares awarded under equity-based compensation plans during the same period.” [Michael Van Schoik, “JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo plan healthy dividend hikes,”Yahoo! Finance,06/28/19]

  • The Federal Reserve Approved “‘Virtually All’” Of The Biggest Banks’ Capital Plans, Allowing Them To “Boost Dividends And Share Buybacks” For Investors. “The Federal Reserve announced on Friday that ‘virtually all’ of the nation’s largest banks are meeting expectations for capital planning and have the green light to boost dividends and share buybacks. Only one of the country’s 18 largest banks is required to address limited weaknesses identified in the second round of the Fed’s annual stress test. Credit Suisse passed the test, but is restricted from raising payouts until the issue is addressed.” [Michael Van Schoik, “JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo plan healthy dividend hikes,”Yahoo! Finance,06/28/19]

Bank Of America Celebrated Its “18th Straight Quarter” Of Cutting Costs, Like When The Bank’s CEO Gloated That He Laid Off 100,000 Workers, Noting He Fired “‘More Employees Than Delta Has.’” 

2019’s Second Quarter Was “The 18thStraight Quarter” Bank Of America Was Able To Grow Revenue While Cutting Costs Or Keeping Them Flat. “It was the 18th straight quarter the company has managed to improve operating leverage, meaning it has grown revenue while cutting or holding the line on costs.” [Hugh Son, “Bank of America beats analysts’ profit estimates on retail banking strength,”CNBC, 07/17/19]

  • Bank Of America Highlighted This Fact As A Headline In Its Second Quarter Earnings Press Release. “18th Consecutive Quarter of Positive Operating Leverage.” [Press Release, Bank of America, 07/17/19]

In October 2018, Bank Of America CEO Brian Moynihan Gloated That He Cut 100,000 Employees From The Bank’s Staff, “‘More Employees Than Delta Has.’” “Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said that the adoption of technology at the second-biggest U.S. lender has allowed him to cut 100,000 workers in less than a decade. ‘The straightforward way to get people to feel it is this: We had 288,000 people when I took over as CEO on Jan 1st [2010],’ Moynihan said in a Tuesday interview with Becky Quick at CNBC’s Net/Net Summit at the New York Stock Exchange. ‘We had 204,000 last quarter. Step back and think about that,’ Moynihan said. The reduction is ‘more employees than Delta has I think. All caused by the ability to apply technology to processes and capabilities, and customer behavior changed.’” [Hugh Son, “Bank of America CEO Moynihan says he cut jobs equal to the workforce of Delta Air Lines,” CNBC, 10/16/18]

U.S. Bank Took In $1.82 Billion In Profits Last Quarter And Handed About $1.4 Billion Right Back To Shareholders.

U.S. Bank Posted $1.82 Billion In Profits For The Second Quarter of 2019 , With 79% Of Those Earnings Going Back To Its Shareholders Through Stock Buybacks And Shareholder Dividends. 

U.S. Bank Reported $1.82 Billion In Profits For 2019’s Second Quarter, Up 4.1% Since Last Year. “Two of the largest regional lenders in the U.S. reported that strong borrowing spurred higher revenue and profits in the latest quarter. U.S. Bancorp […] logged a profit of $1.82 billion, up 4.1% from a year earlier. Earnings were $1.09 a share.” [Allison Prang and Kimberly Chin, “U.S. Bancorp Reports Higher Earnings,” The Wall Street Journal, 07/17/19]

U.S. Bank Said It Handed Out 79% Of Its Profits To Shareholders Through Dividends And Buybacks In 2019’s Second Quarter. “Returned 79% of 2Q earnings to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks.” [Press Release, U.S. Bancorp, 07/17/19]

…And The Bank Plans On Hiking Its Shareholder Dividend By 23% And Buying Back $3 Billion Stock Through The Next Year. 

Beginning In The Third Quarter Of 2019, U.S. Bank Will Repurchase $3 Billion In Stock And Ratchet Up Its Shareholder Dividend By 23%. “The Company expects to recommend a third quarter dividend of $0.37 per common share, a 23 percent increase over the current dividend. At this quarterly dividend, the annual dividend will be equivalent to $1.48 per common share. Additionally, the board of directors of U.S. Bancorp has approved a four-quarter authorization to repurchase up to $3.0 billion of its outstanding stock, beginning July 1, 2018, to replace the current four-quarter authorization, which expires on June 30, 2018.” [Press Release, BusinessWire, 06/28/19]

U.S. Bank’s CEO, President, And Chairman Said The Bank’s “‘Long-Term Objective’” Is To Return “60 To 80 Percent Of Earnings To Shareholders.” “‘We are pleased to receive the Federal Reserve Board’s non-objection to our stress test submission, which allows us to increase our capital return to shareholders,’ said Andy Cecere, chairman, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Bancorp. ‘We are committed to creating value for our shareholders and our long-term objective to return 60 to 80 percent of earnings to shareholders. This result demonstrates U.S. Bancorp’s strong financial profile and its ability to withstand even the most adverse economic conditions.’” [Press Release, BusinessWire, 06/28/19]

PNC Bank’s Profits Climbed To $1.4 Billion Last Quarter And The Bank Doled Out $1.2 Billion Of Those Earnings To Shareholders.

PNC’s Profits Jumped 8% To $1.4 Billion Last Quarter…

PNC Bank’s Profits Jumped 8% To $1.4 Billion In 2019’s Second Quarter. “Net income was $1.4 billion, an increase of $103 million, or 8 percent.” [Press Release, PNC Bank, 07/17/19]

…And PNC Bank Handed $1.2 Billion Right Back To Investors, Capping Off A Year In Which The Bank Gave Them A Total Of $4.5 Billion In Stock Buybacks And Shareholder Dividends. 

In The Second Quarter Of 2019, PNC Bank Gave Shareholders $1.2 Billion, $802 Million In Stock Buybacks And $431 Million In Dividends. “Capital returned to shareholders in the second quarter of 2019 totaled $1.2 billion through repurchases of 6.0 million shares for $802 million and dividends on common shares of $431 million.” [Press Release, PNC Bank, 07/17/19]

PNC Bank Gave Shareholders $4.5 Billion Through Stock Buybacks And Dividends In The Past Year. “PNC completed common stock repurchase programs of $2.6 billion and repurchased shares for $.2 billion related to employee benefit plans for the four quarters ending with the second quarter of 2019. A total of $4.5 billion of capital was returned to shareholders over this period through repurchases of 21.4 million common shares for $2.8 billion and dividends on common shares of $1.7 billion.” [Press Release, PNC Bank, 07/17/19]

PNC Bank Will Be Giving Billions Of Dollars More To Shareholders Through The Next Year. 

PNC Will Be Hiking Its Shareholder Dividend By 21% Beginning In August. “PNC’s board of directors raised the quarterly cash dividend on common stock to $1.15 per share, an increase of 20 cents per share, or 21 percent, effective with the August dividend.” [Press Release, PNC Bank, 07/17/19]

Beginning In The Third Quarter Of 2019, PNC Bank Will Be Repurchasing $4.3 Billion In Stocks Through 2020. “In June 2019 PNC announced share repurchase programs of up to $4.3 billion for the four-quarter period beginning in the third quarter of 2019.” [Press Release, PNC Bank, 07/17/19]

Although BNY Mellon’s Profits Fell, The Bank Paid Shareholders Over $1 Billion And Plans On Giving Billions More In The Next Year.

Although BNY Mellon’s Profits Fell Slightly Last Quarter, The Bank Paid Out Over $1 Billion To Shareholders… 

BNY Mellon’s Profits Fell By 1.9% In 2019’s Second Quarter. “BNY Mellon came out with earnings of $1.01 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 94 cents. The figure was down 1.9% from the prior year quarter.” [“BNY Mellon (BK) Beats on Q2 Earnings, Revenues Decline,” Nasdaq, 07/17/19]

BNY Mellon Repurchased $750 Million In Stocks In 2019’s Second Quarter. BNY Mellon “[r]epurchased 15.3 million common shares for $750 million” in 2019’s second quarter. [Press Release, BNY Mellon, 07/17/19]

BNY Mellon Paid Out $270 Million In Shareholder Dividends In 2019’s Second Quarter. BNY Mellon “[p]aid dividends of $270 million to common shareholders” in 2019’s second quarter. [Press Release, BNY Mellon, 07/17/19]

…And It Plans On Repurchasing Over $3.9 Billion In Stocks And Increasing Its Shareholder Dividend By 11% In The Next Year.

BNY Mellon Plans On Buying Back $3.94 Billion In Stocks And Raising Its Shareholder Dividend By 11% Beginning In 2019’s Third Quarter. BNY Mellon “[a]uthorized to repurchase $3.94 billion of common shares through 2Q20 and increased quarterly dividend 11% to $0.31 per common share in 3Q19.” [Press Release, BNY Mellon, 07/17/19]

Banks And Their Investors Are Swimming In Cash Because Regulators Have Given Them The Green Light To Hike Shareholder Handouts And Flout Prudential Standards, Risking A New Financial Crisis.

The Big Banks “Sailed” Through Federal Reserve Tests Meant To Ensure They Spend Capital Wisely And Don’t Take The Entire Economy Down With Them In The Next Economic Crisis.

As The Megabanks “Sailed” Through The First Half Of The Federal Reserve’s 2019 Stress Tests, Industry Critics Argued That “The Results Should Not Assuage Concerns About Their Readiness For The Next Economic Downturn.” “Megabanks all sailed through the first half of their annual stress test from the Federal Reserve last week. But industry watchdogs say the results should not assuage concerns about their readiness for the next economic downturn.” [Tory Newmyer, “The Finance 202: Big banks are breezing through their stress tests. But the results could be deceiving.,” The Washington Post, 06/24/19]

In June 2019, The Federal Reserve Determined The 18 Biggest Banks Were Sound Enough To Raise Shareholder Dividends And Engage In Stock Buybacks. “The nation’s largest banks are rewarding shareholders by spending tens of billions raising their dividends and buying back stock after getting the green light from the Federal Reserve. The Fed on Thursday said it had approved the capital plans the nation’s 18 largest banks submitted as part of this year’s stress tests. That means it determined the banks could raise their dividends and buy back more shares this year and still have enough capital to survive a hypothetical deep recession in the next year.” [Ken Sweet, “Banks announce billions in share buybacks after Fed approval,”The Associated Press, 06/27/19]

  • The Stress Test “Aims To Ensure That The Biggest Banks Have A Sufficient Capital Cushion To Withstand A Severe Economic Shock.” “The test, the first version of which was deployed in the teeth of the financial crisis in 2009, aims to ensure that the biggest banks have a sufficient capital cushion to withstand a severe economic shock without presenting a risk to the rest of the system.” [Tory Newmyer, “The Finance 202: Big banks are breezing through their stress tests. But the results could be deceiving.,” The Washington Post, 06/24/19] 

Critics Have Argued The Big Banks Haven’t Grown More Sound Since The Crisis, But That The Federal Reserve Has Made Stress Tests Easier. “But industry watchdogs say the results should not assuage concerns about their readiness for the next economic downturn. It’s not that the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America have gotten more resilient, they argue. Rather, the exam has gotten easier, part of a broader Trump-era push to roll back the post-crisis rules governing the financial sector.” [Tory Newmyer, “The Finance 202: Big banks are breezing through their stress tests. But the results could be deceiving.,” The Washington Post, 06/24/19]

As The Economy Shows Red Flags, Like Ever-Widening Inequality, “Record” Numbers Of Consumers Are Struggling To Pay Their Bills, Nearly A Quarter Of Americans Say They Won’t Be Able To Retire, And Nearly Half Say They “Fear A Major Recession.”

In February 2019, The Federal Reserve Found That “A Record 7 Million Americans Are 90 Days Or More Behind On Their Auto Loan Payments”—A “Red Flag” For The Economy.

In February 2019, The Federal Reserve Bank Of New York Reported That “A Record 7 Million Americans Are 90 Days Or More Behind On Their Auto Loan Payments,” A “Red Flag” For The Economy. “A record 7 million Americans are 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Tuesday, even more than during the wake of the financial crisis. Economists warn that this is a red flag. Despite the strong economy and low unemployment rate, many Americans are struggling to pay their bills.”  [Heather Long, “A record 7 million Americans are 3 months behind on their car payments, a red flag for the economy,” The Washington Post, 02/12/19]

In July 2019, Only 11% Of Americans Said They Are Getting Ahead While Nearly 40% Say They Could Not Cover A $1,000 Emergency And Nearly 25% “Never Plan To Retire.”

 A Recent Poll Found That Only 11% Of Americans Believe Their Earnings Are Outpacing Their Expenses And About A Quarter Say Their Costs Are Climbing More Quickly Than Their Incomes. “A quarter of Americans say their expenses are rising faster than their incomes. Just 11% say their salaries have outpaced their costs.” [“Poll shows how many Americans feel vulnerable despite a good economy,”MarketPlace, 07/09/19]

Nearly 40% Of Americans Doubt They Could Pay A $1,000 Emergency Expense And Nearly Half Doubt They Can Save Enough For Retirement. “Nearly four in 10 Americans say they lack confidence in their ability to pay an emergency expense of $1,000. […] Just two in 10 are very confident that they’ll have enough savings for retirement. Nearly half have little to no confidence.” [“Poll shows how many Americans feel vulnerable despite a good economy,”MarketPlace, 07/09/19]

Nearly A Quarter Of Americans “Say They Never Plan To Retire.” “Nearly one-quarter of Americans say they never plan to retire, according to a poll that suggests a disconnection between individuals’ retirement plans and the realities of aging in the workforce. […] According to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 23% of workers, including nearly 2 in 10 of those over 50, don’t expect to stop working.” [Andrew Soergel, “Poll: 1 in 4 don’t plan to retire despite realities of aging,”Associated Press, 07/07/19]

Recent Studies Show That 48% Of Americans “Fear A Major Recession,” Are Increasingly “Less Optimistic About Their Economic Prospects,” And Think The Country Is “Due” For A Recession Despite “The Longest Economic Expansion In History.”

A New Survey Found That “Middle-Class Americans Are Less Optimistic About Their Economic Prospects Than They Were Just Six Months Ago.” “Middle-class Americans are less optimistic about their economic prospects than they were just six months ago, according to a new report from CUNA Mutual Group.” [Jessica Dickler, “Recession fears rise for middle-class families,” CNBC, 07/16/19]

Another Report Found That 48% Of Americans “Fear A Major Recession.” “A separate report by Allianz Life found that 48% said they fear a major recession, up from 46% in the first quarter of 2019 and 44% one year ago.” [Jessica Dickler, “Recession fears rise for middle-class families,” CNBC, 07/16/19]

An Economist Pointed Out, “‘Americans Keep Hearing That This Is The Longest Economic Expansion In History,’” But They Think We’re “‘Due’” For A Recession. “‘Americans keep hearing that this is the longest economic expansion in history,’ said Steven Rick, CUNA Mutual’s chief economist. ‘People’s expectations are that we are due’ for a recession.” [Jessica Dickler, “Recession fears rise for middle-class families,” CNBC, 07/16/19]

Economic Inequality Has Only Widened Since The Great Recession—Although Household Wealth Has Increased 80% In The Past Decade, More Than A Third Of That Growth Went To The Top 1% And Less Than 2% Of New Wealth Went To The Bottom Half Of The Population.

Inequality Between The Richest Americans And The Rest Of The Country Has Widened Despite “A Full Decade Of Uninterrupted Economic Growth.” “Yet even after a full decade of uninterrupted economic growth, the richest Americans now hold a greater share of the nation’s wealth than they did before the Great Recession began in 2007. And income growth has been sluggish by historical standards, leaving many Americans feeling stuck in place.” [Christopher Rugaber, “Why wealth gap has grown despite record-long economic growth,”The Associated Press, 07/01/19]

According To The Federal Reserve, Although Household Wealth Has “Jumped 80% In The Past Decade,” More Than A Third Of That Growth Went To The Top 1% And Less Than 2% Of That Wealth Went To The Bottom Half Of The Population. “Household wealth — the value of homes, stock portfolios and bank accounts, minus mortgage and credit card debt and other loans — jumped 80% in the past decade. More than one-third of that gain — $16.2 trillion in riches— went to the wealthiest 1%, figures from the Federal Reserve show. Just 25% of it went to middle-to-upper-middle class households. The bottom half of the population gained less than 2%.” [Christopher Rugaber, “Why wealth gap has grown despite record-long economic growth,”The Associated Press, 07/01/19]

A June 2019 Study Found That Tens Of Millions Of Americans Are Still Struggling To Recover From The Great Recession, With Many “Doing Worse Now Than Before The Crisis” Thanks To Stagnant Or Even Falling Wages.

 A June 2019 Survey Found That Many Americans “Haven’t Recovered From The Recession’s Blows.” “The Great Recession has officially been over for a decade. For many Americans, there’s little reason to celebrate. Many people’s finances haven’t recovered from the recession’s blows, according to a new survey by personal finance website Bankrate.com.” [Annie Nova, “Many Americans say their financial situation is worse since the Great Recession,” CNBC, 06/14/19]

A Senior Economic Analyst Said, “‘There Are Still Tens Of Millions Who Are Struggling To Even Get Back To Where They Were’” Before The Economic Crisis. “‘There are still tens of millions who are struggling to even get back to where they were before the economy took a turn for the worse,’ said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com.” [Annie Nova, “Many Americans say their financial situation is worse since the Great Recession,” CNBC, 06/14/19]

The Survey Found That The Great Recession Negatively Impacted More Than Half Of Adult Americans, With Half Of Those Hurt By The Downturn “Doing Worse Now Than Before The Crisis.” “More than half of Americans who were adults amid the Great Recession said they endured some type of negative financial impact, Bankrate found. And half of those people say they’re doing worse now than before the crisis.” [Annie Nova, “Many Americans say their financial situation is worse since the Great Recession,” CNBC, 06/14/19]

Less Than Half Of Americans Who Were Adults During The Great Recession Have Seen Their Pay Increase. “Fewer than half (46%) of those who were adults at the time of the recession say they’ve seen their paychecks grow since before it began. More than a third of those who say they, or their partner, lost a job during the recession say their pay has actually dropped from before the recession.” [Annie Nova, “Many Americans say their financial situation is worse since the Great Recession,” CNBC, 06/14/19]

Median Income, Adjusted For Inflation, Has Remained Flat While The Costs Of Essential Expenses “Have Ballooned.” “The median family income, after accounting for inflation, was $59,039 in 2016, little different than it was in 2000 ($58,544). During the same time, medical, childcare and college costs have ballooned.” [Annie Nova, “Many Americans say their financial situation is worse since the Great Recession,” CNBC, 06/14/19]

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