‘Too Big to Fail’ Banks Grow Under Obama

Five banks now hold over half of U.S. economy

BY:

President Obama pledged to end "too big to fail" financial institutions, but under his watch they have only grown larger.

Bloomberg reports:

Five banks—JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—held $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, equal to 56 percent of the U.S. economy, according to the Federal Reserve.

Five years earlier, before the financial crisis, the largest banks’ assets amounted to 43 percent of U.S. output. The Big Five today are about twice as large as they were a decade ago relative to the economy, sparking concern that trouble at a major bank would rock the financial system and force the government to step in as it did during the 2008 crunch.

"Market participants believe that nothing has changed, that too-big-to-fail is fully intact," said Gary Stern, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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