In other words, the sky-high totals on the GAO chart do not represent amounts that were ever outstanding. Rather they represent how often banks relied on short-term facilities for aid. This is, however, a fair representation of the level of aid the banks needed during the financial crisis.
When the loans are adjusted to account for their differing terms, the picture changes slightly. To adjust for the differing lengths of the loans, the GAO multiplied each loan amount by the number of days it was outstanding and divided this amount by the total number of days in a year.
Under this methodology, borrowing $10 million from the PDCF for 30 days would only amount to an “adjusted borrowing” of $821,918. And a $10 million 30-day loan would amount to exactly the same thing.
Citigroup still emerges as a big user of Fed aid, but Bank of America beats it out under this method. Barclays and—surprisingly—the Royal Bank of Scotland fill in the third and fourth spots. Morgan Stanley drops all the way down to the fifth spot.