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January 22, 2013

How to Cut Megabanks Down to Size

IT is a prevailing myth in Washington: big bailouts are over for good. Never again, the line goes, could giant financial institutions imperil the nation’s economy.

This is nonsense, of course. Whatever regulators and lawmakers say, the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul lacks any guarantee that taxpayers won’t have to come to the rescue again.

So it was refreshing to hear a Federal Reserve System official debunk the bailouts-are-gone theory last week.

The official was Richard W. Fisher, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a longstanding truth-teller about too-big-to-fail banks. On Wednesday, in a speech in Washington, Mr. Fisher laid out a compelling proposal for shrinking financial giants in order to protect taxpayers. He suggested that megabanks be chopped into pieces, so that no one of them could endanger the financial system if it ran into trouble.”

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Read Gretchen Morgenson’s full New York Times article here

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