Thursday, January 20, 2011

Too Big to Save?

Those banks that were too big to founder
Have grown bigger without growing sounder;
So, what to do then,
If they founder again,
As sooner or later they're bound ter?  

The top five US banks now comprise 13.3% of the nation's financial firms' assets, as Real Time Economics points out in its Number of the Week. This is up from 11.8% in 2007, when Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs were all considered too big to fail. In a comment echoed by MIT economist Simon Johnson, RTE's Mark Whitehouse wonders if these banks, in comparison with the federal government's strapped resources, are now too big to save.

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