“Carl Icahn is pushing for the breakup of insurance giant American International Group Inc., but America’s biggest banks could be forgiven for thinking he was talking about them, too.
“What the gray-bearded activist investor identifies as the symptoms of AIG’s corporate obesity — below-target returns, discounted valuations and the scarlet letter of the “systemically important” designation that brings what he calls an “onerous regulatory burden” — can also be slapped on Wall Street financial supermarkets such as Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc.
“Today, insurance; tomorrow, banks. Why not?” said Mike Mayo, a CLSA Ltd. analyst who published a note three years ago saying many of the biggest banks were worth more in smaller pieces. “Prove the value of having these businesses all under one roof, or consider Plan B, which would be some form of a breakup.”
Even with senators, presidential candidates, central bankers and Citigroup’s creators Sanford Weill and John Reed arguing for a breakup of the behemoths, several of the banks deemed too big to fail during the 2008 financial crisis are bigger now than they were then.”
Read the full Bloomberg article by Michael J. Moore here.