Despite every major US bank being declared by regulators as “well capitalized” prior to the financial crisis, we still found ourselves watching the government plow hundreds of billions of capital into said banks. How can this be? The answer is quite simple: we were lied to. Maybe that’s a little harsh, after all these banks did meet the regulatory definition of “well capitalized”. But when push came to shove, market participants rightly ignored regulatory capital. After all you cannot use things like “deferred tax losses” to pay your bills with.