Thanks to the good work of Hank Paulson, the world is much safer for Goldman Sachs Group (GS), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) has pulled away from the pack as well. Paulson did his part by letting Lehman Brothers fail and forcing Bank of America (BAC) to swallow the scorpion -- Merrill Lynch. But B of A looks like it's going to join Goldman and JPMorgan in the winner's circle while Citigroup (C) -- which has $351 billion in bailout money -- could be circling the drain.
Citi -- which has $45 billion in TARP money and another $301 billion in loan loss guarantees from the U.S. -- reported its seventh consecutive quarterly loss; analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Citi to lose 37 cents a share in the second quarter but it lost 10 cents less than expected, 27 cents a share. And sadly, Citi's costs for bad loans in the quarter jumped by 75 percent to $12.2 billion while late credit card loans increased to three percent of the total, from 2.1 percent a year earlier.