The last of the two destiny-altering events (the other of course being 9/11) of this century took place 6 years ago, on September 15, 2008, when Lehmann Brothers went bankrupt. The avalanche triggered by that event hasn’t exactly abated yet.
In the aftermath of the financial collapse, regulators have finally woken up from their long and deep slumber, which was happily induced by the boom years preceding the crisis. Almost in vengeance, they have levied some of the most mind-boggling penalties on banks for their role in the crisis. Below I have chronicled some of them.
The regulators have been most benevolent to Bank of America, slapping it with fines worth USD 57 Billion. Perhaps not coincidentally, the same bank has also been slapped with the highest ever single penalty, worth over USD 16.5 Billion. Looking at the data year-wise, the fines jumped by near 10 times from 2011 to 2012, and have continued to shoot ever since.
To paraphrase Keynes- “The boom, not the slump, is the right time for caution at the Regulators.” Alas, words of great men transcend the barriers of time.