Friday, May 10, 2013

'Too Big to Fail' Has Not Changed a Bit

According to Gawker a small handful of huge Wall Street banks are quite literally Too Big to Fail: the failure of any one of these institutions would rip such a large hole in the global economy that we'd all fall in and break our necks. In times of trouble, therefore, these banks will always, always, always be bailed out by the public— by you, and me, and your poor little grandma. We learned this the hard way during the last financial crisis. So what has changed since then? Nothing.

The implications of Too Big to Fail are offensive to basic moral sensibilities. That's why we need to break up the big banks. But we haven't, of course; not even close. (We're still arguing about asking them to hold a little more money in reserve so the next crash might not be quite so severe.) A new Bloomberg Markets story on the state of the biggest of the biggest banks makes it quite clear that Barack Obama's 2010 promise, “There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts — period" was an empty one.

It's very simple, really. So long as not bailing out a bank will result in more dire economic consequences than bailing out a bank, we will continue to bail out the banks. It's simply rational— in the moment, at least….

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