Most people think the Bailout of Wall Street in 2008 cost the taxpayers $700 billion.

After all that’s what Obama said it was going to cost.

But the final cost will shock you.

According to The Special Inspector General for TARP, the summary of the bailout says that the total commitment of government is $16.8 trillion dollars.

And what did the American people get?  2.6 million fewer jobs.

Bank robber Willie Sutton was once quoted as saying, “Why do you rob banks? Because that’s where the money is.”

But why rob them, when you can own them, get too big to fail, and then not worry about profit/loss, nor the law?

Forbes Magazine analyzed some of the claims of the Obama administration about the final costs of the Bailout.

You may remember that Obama claimed all the money was paid back and the taxpayers made a profit from the deal.

But in fact, when you look at the multiple sources of revenue, trillions of dollars were used to bail out these institutions.

Forbes reports:

“The operating principles of the big banks is a cesspool of greed, ethics and criminal intent and they give a very bad name to free market capitalism.

During the housing bubble Wall street was considered the heart and soul of free market capitalism, but when they were in danger of total collapse they fell on their knees as socialists, begging the government and tax payers to bail them out

Many people have asked why the government bailed them out. Isn’t capitalism designed to get rid of the weak and the failed; so why didn’t we just let them fail? The answer was that they were too big to fail and allowing them to fail could have created a worldwide depression. . .

In fact, in a meeting with Congress on September 18th, 2008. Treasury Secretary Paulson told the members that $5.5 trillion in wealth could disappear by 2 pm of that day. In a meeting with Senator Sherrod Brown, Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said, “we need $700 billion and we need it in 3 days.”

Why didn’t more people know that the bailout had climbed into the trillions?”

Why not indeed? Not only the “people”, but why not the media, congress and the President?

After the original $700 billion bailout, the ongoing bailout was kept very secret because Chairman Ben Bernanke argued that revealing borrower details would create a stigma — investors and counterparties would shun firms that used the central bank as a lender of last resort.

Which is amazing coming from someone who demands that we mere citizens have to have our credit ratings available 24/7 to insurance companies, the government, and oh yes, to the banks.

What is even more amazing about Big Banking is their ability to get away with money laundering on a huge scale.

Forbes reports:

“It has been proven that the American Division of the HSBC bank did money laundering for Mexican drug cartels to the tune of $881 billion according to the Justice Department.

The penalty to this bank for blatant corruption was $1.9 billion and the New York Times laments that HSBC was too big to indict. Nobody goes to jail at a time when an unemployed black person gets 10 years for robbing a minute mart.”

What about the automobile industry bailout?

GM made $22.6 billion. The taxpayers lost $10.6 billion.

CNN reports:

“GM has earned a stunning $22.6 billion since the dark days of the financial crisis, when the automaker was bailed out by the U.S. government. Taxpayers didn’t fare nearly as well.

They’d lost $10.6 billion by the time the U.S. Treasury department closed the books on the $49.5 billion bailout in December.

GM, which filed for bankruptcy seven years ago this Sunday, has repaid everything it was obligated to pay Treasury. Taxpayers came up short because the U.S. decided to buy GM stock to keep the automaker alive instead of giving it a loan and saddling it with more debt.

Although GM has been very profitable since 2009, its stock price never rose to a level that let Treasury to recoup that investment.

“Our goal was never to make a profit but to stabilize the auto industry,” said one Treasury official on background the day it sold its final GM shares. “By any measure, we succeeded.”

Yes, they succeeded in paying off major political supporters, but they FAILED in succeeding to protect the taxpayers.

The auto industry is not afraid to do it again because they know no one goes to jail and the government will bail them out.