Noted conservative columnist George Will tackled the Too Big To Fail Forever meme in this Washington Post this week. I confess to having lost interest in the topic and in the latest stats. The war is over, we lost, they won. We’ll pay our penalty the next time they blow and burst a superbubble in financial assets directly over our heads.
But just for the hell of it, here’s how systemically risky the systemically risky banks have become, post-crisis:
In 2011, the four biggest U.S. banks (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo) had 40 percent of all federally insured deposits. Today, the 5,500 community banks have 12 percent of the banking industry’s assets. The 12 banks with $250 billion to $2.3 trillion in assets total 69 percent. The 20 largest banks’ assets total 84.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.
Such banks have become bigger, relative to the economy, since the financial crisis began, and they are not the only economic entities to do so. Last year, the Economist reported that in the past 15 years the combined assets of the 50 largest U.S. companies had risen from around 70 percent of GDP to around 130 percent.
Remember we all thought they were going to be punished for what they’d done to the economy? LOL, that was hilarious.