Graph time! Two of my favorites this week!
First one: as of 1/21/09, US commercial bank capitalization is less than the second tranche of TARP funds (less than $350 bn).
(Source, but hurry! The content of the page is frequently updated.)
Of course, this is not the same as "just go ahead and buy the damned things!" as purchasing common stock is not the same as injecting new capital. But it does give an uncomfortable sense, bordering on schadenfreude, of how the mighty have fallen (check out Citi and BoA, ex "largest bank in the US") and also of how insignificant commercial bank capital has become (was always but for incorrect valuations and off-balance items?) with respect to their liabilities.
The second graph hardly needs any words beyond "who's your daddy/main shareholder?" and "click on the source link to see a larger version":