The four biggest banks in the country now control 62% of all bank assets in this country, up from 54% five years ago when housing/banking troubles started. According to the Wall Street Journal,
- JP Morgan/Chase assets have increased from $1.3 trillion to $2.3 trillion
- Bank of America has grown from $1.4 to $2.2 trillion
- Citibank has edged up from $1.8 to $1.9 trillion
- Wells Fargo has gone from $.5 to $1.3 trillion
During the same five year period, housing prices have tumbled by 50% or more in some markets and home sales, job growth and consumer confidence continue to stagnate across the country..
These banks that were billed as 'too big to fail' were massively bailed out by the federal government. They have used that money to shore up their profitability, pay executive bonuses and gobble up smaller banks that were not 'too big to fail'. Meanwhile they steadfastly refuse to clean up the problems they created and have held a true recovery in the housing market in abeyance by allowing the foreclosure crisis to drag on and refusing to inject private capital into the mortgage market.
They continue to spend lavishly trying to overthrow those portions of Dodd/Frank that limit their ability to soak the public (i.e. debit card swipe fees) while attempting to circumvent older regulations preventing their entry into real estate and other investment markets.
Too big to fail? Or just too big to nail? Maybe a couple high profile perp-walks would catch their attention. Any of you federal law enforcement types, regulatory weenies or other do-gooders got the balls to sweat Angelo under the bright lights? Naw, I didn't think so.
And the beat goes on.