Leave Wall Street Alone

While Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain maintains his position that we should blame ourselves, not Wall Street or the big banks, for the current state of the economy, ThinkProgress has compiled a list of 11 facts about Big Finance that you should know before you side with the likes of Herman Cain.

Here are a choice few excerpts:

– Bank profits are highest since before the recession…: According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., bank profits in the first quarter of this year were “the best for the industry since the $36.8 billion earned in the second quarter of 2007.” JP Morgan Chase is currently pulling in record profits.

– Banks cost households nearly $20 trillion in wealth: Almost $20 trillion in wealth was destroyed by the Great Recession, and total family wealth is still down “$12.8 trillion (in 2011 dollars) from June 2007 — its last peak.”

– Big banks don’t lend to small businesses: The New Rules Project notes that the country’s 20 biggest banks “devote only 18 percent of their commercial loan portfolios to small business.”

The nation's biggest banks are now bigger than they were even before the crash of 2008, and after presiding over the loss of trillions of dollars in national wealth, they're back to making record profits while also downsizing their workforce.

The GOP response? -- Let them eat cake.