Too-Big-To-Fail Banks

After the 2020 Election: Break Up TBTF Banks

Congress dodged the issue of breaking up the biggest banks after the financial bubble’s final 2008 collapse. Protecting the essential roles of traditionally commercial banks — lending, deposit-taking, and operating the payments system — was prevented by politics. Proprietary trading and a few investment banking activities were circumscribed, and new TBTF derivatives clearing houses were…

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BREAK ‘EM UP: Ten Reasons to Isolate Taxpayers from TBTF Systemic Banks

Commercial banking and investment banking are fundamentally different businesses. Each may stand between those who have money to spare and those who need to borrow it, but their risks, time horizons, and compensation practices differ widely. As Glass-Steagall barriers between the two were dissolved beginning in 1987, the largest banks took higher risks, backed by…

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BREAK ‘EM UP!: Creating Systemic TBTF Banks

Most folks outside the financial services industry (and many within) have the mistaken impression that the elimination of Glass-Steagall barriers between investment and commercial banking occurred in one legislative move. The true truth is that the barriers were first eroded by Federal Reserve actions, instigated by big U.S. commercial banks over a decade earlier than…

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