Financial consumers are screwed. Can you say oligopoly in the USA? Based on a study released by the White House yesterday – the four biggest banks in America could grow even bigger under the financial reform law passed last year. The law put a cap on the growth of financial institutions to prevent them from posing a systemic risk to the entire financial system – like what happened a few years ago. However that cap is calculated using a skewed formula that allows even the biggest banks in America to continue to grow into “too big to fail” monsters. Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo all have plenty of room under the cap and can add another trillion dollars to their balance sheets by taking over and merging with other banks. To put it into perspective just how big these banks are – they collectively hold nearly $8 trillion in assets - about half of the entire banking system – and originate 3 out of every 5 home mortgages. Less than a decade ago – 15 banks made up half of the financial industry – today that’s 4. And sadly – there’s nothing in the law to prevent these massive banks from growing larger. Looks like the banks won after all…again.
Can you say oligopoly in the USA?
Jan. 19, 2011 9:37 am