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Wall Street Made Out Like Bandits During COVID, But Now The Party’s Over

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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“Free money” policies exploited by banks to make big profits during the COVID-19 pandemic are winding down as the economy enters a possible recession, Axios reported Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates to almost zero in March 2020 as the U.S. entered the coronavirus pandemic with little knowledge about the effect the virus would ultimately have. Now, interest rates are once again rising, and big banks on Wall Street are seeing their profits dwindle, according to Axios.

JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have all reported smaller profits than last year since July 14, according to Axios. Thanks to emergency monetary policies enacted by the Fed, those banks saw historic profits in 2020 and 2021 as regulators pumped trillions of dollars into the economy.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup all saw their stock prices at least double in the year following March 23, 2020. Now, high interest rates are suppressing the stock market into a bear market, with the S&P 500 falling almost 15% in the past six months. (RELATED: ‘A Definite Slowdown’: Business Owners Say They’re Already Seeing Signs Of Recession)

Higher interest rates increase the likelihood of recession, according to Axios. Big banks that benefitted most from the Fed and the Biden administration pouring trillions of stimulus dollars into the financial system are now paying a price.

Record-high inflation isn’t helping matters. The average American worker has lost the equivalent of about $3,400 in annual income since President Joe Biden took office, according to economist E.J. Antoni.