I have posted previously that we need to break-up the TBTFs (Too Big to Fail Banks)–, or as I like to say, the “Too Bigs”. Currently, the five very largest banks have more than 60% of US Deposits. Also, looking back to Lehman Brothers’ Bankruptcy, the Too Bigs are regarded by many as having the implicit backing of the US Treasury.
Merrill Lynch went “hat in hand”, to merge with various Financial Institutions before it joined Bank of America. Goldman Sachs and General Electric Capital (which represented more than 50% of GE’s Revenue) paid 10% on Billions of Preferred Stock to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. Wachovia merged into Wells Fargo and, as the second attachment notes, Citigroup was, perhaps, in the worst shape.
Did these Institutions learn anything after dragging this Country to the so-called “Financial Abyss”? Remember that they retained their exorbitant salaries, received unrealistically inflated Bonuses and, basically, have been acting like they saved the day. Just consider all the court cases, where the fines were paid by the shareholders (not the perpetrators) and no one went to Jail. Learn anything? ARE YOU KIDDING?
Professor Simon Johnson, a former Chief Economist with the International Monetary Fund’s column ran in today’s NY Times. Also, the article, by Alex Goldstein, in The Nation, I believe, properly describes the apparent fear that the Financial Services Industry has for The Volcker Rule, as well as the rest of the Dodd-Frank Bill.