Too big to handle

A consensus is finally emerging in the US that mega-banks are a problem.

In the discussion of whether America’s largest financial institutions have become too big, a sea change in opinion is under way. Two years ago, during the debate about the Dodd-Frank financial-reform legislation, few people thought that global mega-banks represented a pressing problem. Some prominent senators even suggested that very large European banks represented something of a role model for the United States.

In any case, the government, according to the largest banks’ chief executives, could not possibly impose a cap on their assets’ size, because to do so would undermine the productivity and competitiveness of the US economy. Such arguments are still heard – but, increasingly, only from those employed by global mega-banks, including their lawyers, consultants, and docile economists.

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