'Too big to fail' gets even bigger

The four largest banks have grown in size during the financial crisis.

By Kim Peterson Jun 4, 2010 2:25PM
cash stack © Steve Cole/Photodisc Green/Getty ImagesHow do you fix banks that are too big to fail? Let 'em get bigger.

The four biggest banks have only become larger in the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reports. Now, Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), J.P. Morgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) control more assets today then they did in December 2007.

Combined, these banks have gone from $4.95 trillion in assets in December 2007 to $7.7 trillion in assets now, Stephen Grocer writes. That's almost double the combined assets of the next 46 biggest banks.

So while politicians like to say taxpayers won't foot the bill if one of these banks should fail, the magnitude of these firms would undoubtedly trigger federal intervention. "It's still hard to believe the government would stand idly by," Grocer adds.

You just can't make this stuff up, writes Joshua Brown on The Reformed Broker. "This is an interesting solution to the systemic risk problem we were all carrying on about over the last few years," he adds. "Bravo."


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