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Bank math

EDITOR: I have just returned from throwing up after reading the Thursday article "Bailout went far beyond aid for U.S. banks." It said that the biggest loans and other aid for U.S. institutions over time went to Citigroup ($2.2 trillion), Merrill Lynch ($2.1 trillion), Morgan Stanley ($2 trillion), Bear Stearns ($960 billion), Bank of America ($887 billion), Goldman Sachs ($615 billion), JPMorgan Chase ($178 billion) and Wells Fargo ($154 billion).

The article quoted Paul Miller, a banking analyst at FBR Capital Markets: "The system basically failed because banks stopped lending to each other."

OK, a lot of things we may never know about were going on then, but right now isn't the Federal Funds rate at about 0.25 percent? These banks made horrible decisions, needed lots of money and seem to be back on track.

So how do they justify charging 19 percent, 24 percent, 29 percent interest rates on their credit cards? If I earned between 19 percent and 29 percent without having to lift a finger every year, I might be called the greatest money manager of all time.

Who is bailing out whom in this scenario?

MICHAEL TESTA

Petaluma


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