But could the bailouts have been denied them and their companies without their taking everybody down with them?
Quite possibly not. Nevertheless, it's a mistake to allow them to keep privatizing all of their ill-gotten gains. They take the gains when their stock is rising, when their companies are profitable. But when they get into trouble, they get to socialize the losses, which means that the taxpayer has to pay for the losses, which is of course a pretty sweet deal for the banksters. So, should we be surprised when they send their well funded lobbyists to Washington to make sure this arrangement does not change?
So what would good reform look like?
- Ensure that companies cannot become too big and too interconnected to fail.
- Make it very expensive for companies to grow in size and to be in a position to take on very large risks that threaten the entire financial system.
- Increase capital requirements.
- Increase the amount that a bank would pay it if it gets over and above a certain size in terms of assets or by some other measure.
- Somehow increase the cost of doing business for these entities if they grow too big.
Any evidence that the legislation being discussed this week in Washington contains that kind of reform?