Business Report: Wall Street's Summer profits - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Business Report: Wall Street's Summer profits

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Wall Street's biggest financial institutions are reporting their summer profits this week. They've all made billions of dollars, and most of them beat expectations.

But one thing really stood out.

News reports say some banks are seeing their profit soar because of lower legal fees.

Legal fees. You know what that means?

It refers to the ginormous settlements these megabanks paid to settle criminal charges of defrauding their own customers. They paid so much to settle those charges that their profits soared when they were done paying. And apparently it's all about the Benjamins.

Well, if it is, then here is the algebra of bank fraud.

There is a level of fines, X, at which these firms can defraud their clients, get caught, pay a fine, and still make a profit on the crime. Fines, therefore, need to be X+Y, where Y is a not-inconsequential amount of money, sufficient to actually deter these guys from working so close to the edge.

Which brings us to the thrilling conclusion of another, Crisis at a Glance!!!

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