In Honor Of Uncle Sam, Fun (Arbitrary) Facts About Fees

Whether you view the recent investor pushback as a much-needed adjustment in power or a sign that the days of easy money have come to an end, one thing is for sure: Banks did pretty well for themselves in the leveraged finance front for the first half of 2006.

And since those of you who work in finance, and those of us who cover the markets, constantly hear talk of millions and billions tossed about like so many summertime baseballs, putting things in perspective can be helpful, and fun. Hell, it's summer, and I'm writing this on the anniversary of U.S. independence, when I should be at the park drinking beer and eating hot dogs. So here goes:

The biggest player in global leveraged loans is JPMorgan, which for the first half of 2007 raked in the largest pile of cash: $654 million in fees, according to Thomson Financial, which is roughly $50 million more than the total U.S. gross for "Titanic," the highest grossing movie of all time, and just nudges out the five-year total compensation for Steve Jobs. JPMorgan was followed by Deutsche Bank at $370 million-which is a hair short of the GDP of Belgium-and Banc of America with $345 million, the amount of the proposed 2006 federal budget for the Peace Corps.

The No. 7 earner in global leveraged loan fees, Goldman Sachs, walked off with $229 million for the first half of 2007, not enough to beat out numbers four, five and six, Citi, Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Scotland, respectively, or Oprah, whose 2006 salary totaled $260 million.

On the global high yield debt side, JPMorgan again ranked No. 1, bringing in another $202 million, which is the amount a New York worker earning minimum wage and working 50 weeks a year will earn if he works 15,538 years.

No. 2 Credit Suisse took in $166 million, twice the amount New York City will spend to renovate Coney Island and twice the amount netted by rapper Jay-Z last year. Third-ranked Citi earned $158 million in fees, or about three times what the U.S. Department of Energy spent on hydrogen research last year and the annual budget of the city of Somerville, Mass. And No. 4 in global high yield bonds, Merrill Lynch, earned $139 million, beating out Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Venezuela, with a GDP of $138 million.

(c) 2007 High Yield Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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