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Bailout

 American Banks Pay Out $20 Billion in Bonuses

Reuters reported yesterday that the annual bonuses among major American investment and commercial banks increased an average of 17 percent in 2009. Specifically, among JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley bonuses rose 31 percent. All told, employees of the banking industry in the U.S. raked in $20.3 billion, with the average bonus of $123,850. This increase is modest compared to the 2007 records set with bonuses, but still, you know, we're in a major recession, unemployment's at nearly 10 percent with another 20 percent underemployed, the money used to turn the record profit of $55 billion among major banks in 2009 (three times the previous record profit) was built using taxpayer money. See more »

 Citigroup, the Bailout and a Brief Primer on the Elevator

Here at HSW headquarters, we have the Captivate Network, a newsfeed broadcast on little televisions embedded in the elevators, since it's beyond imagination for humans not to be distracted at every possible moment of our lives. I actually made a New Year's resolution not to pay attention to the TVs, but that went the way of disco and this morning I read of a change in the government's stake in Citigroup. CNN Money reports that the Treasury converted its 8 percent holding in the form of Citigroup preferred stock into a 40 percent stake in the form of common stock. At the same time, the bank announced a $9.6 billion goodwill impairment charge. "What the heck's a goodwill impairment charge?" I asked another man in the elevator, figuring he was just some schlub like me. I'm a pretty friendly guy, on the order of Golden Retrievers, just making conversation. See more »

How Mortgage-backed Securities Work

 How Mortgage-backed Securities Work

The 2008 US financial crisis has been blamed on the excessive use of mortgage-backed securities. But what exactly is a mortgage-backed security? Learn more about these securities and how they contributed to the crisis in this HowStuffWorks podcast. See more »

Is a free market "free" if it's regulated?

 Is a free market "free" if it's regulated?

Prices in a free market are determined by the law of supply and demand, yet the US government has recently given billions of dollars to rescue large corporations. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn whether or not the US is still a free market. See more »

How the Bailout Works

 How the Bailout Works

The economy imploded as US banks reaped the consequences of subprime mortgage trades. Controversially, Congress has provided emergency funding for the banks. Learn more about the agreement between Washington and Wall Street in this HowStuffWorks podcast. See more »