Tag Archives: too big to fail


This post by Fec about Bank of America put me off my breakfast:

So that’s $53T in unregulated derivatives being backstopped by $1T in customer deposits. And remember, those derivatives are largely contracts made with the other TBTF banks, so that if one goes down, they all go down. And there’s no way in hell the FDIC (the taxpayers) can cover those kind of losses.

At this point, I can’t imagine why anyone would leave their money, much less own stock, in a TBTF bank.

I remember the deregulation of the '90s. At the time it made sense to me that a bank could start offering their customers investment services since, you know, it let them do stuff with their money without having to inconvenience themselves with dealing with two (or more) different people.  Then again I didn't know jack about banks or the markets so it isn't a real surprise that I couldn't see the possible negatives in a deregulated environment.  In retrospect the deregulation doesn't seem like it was such a good idea, even to a financial fool like me.

**Update**- In a later post Fec provided a link to a good article explaining the Bank of America situation.

Failure is an Option

In this post Lex shares these thoughts from Barry Ritholtz on what might happen if too-big-to-fail banks are actually allowed to fail.  My favorite line from Ritholtz is this: "Real Capitalists know failure is part of the process. I suspect we may have another chance at a banking reorg. Let’s hope we do it correctly this time."