Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Outsize Fees Provide Funhouse-Mirror Distortion

Wall Street is seeing a special kind of payday. Outsize fees are even providing a bit of funhouse-mirror distortion to so-called league tables, which rank banks based on the size of the deals they handle each quarter. Banks that were in such bad shape that they needed the government’s aid are now getting bragging rights from raising money to replace the capital they have returned to the government.

Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have now returned their federal bailout money and raised new capital to replace it. More than $50 billion of new capital was raised as part of the effort by the biggest banks to repay TARP and get out from under the thumb — and pay caps — of Washington. All told, December was the biggest month in history for offerings.

See more in the NY Times’ latest DealBook column.

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