Monday, February 16, 2009

Community Banker: Break Up Big Banks

by Bill McBride on 2/16/2009 02:24:00 PM

"The money is going to sit on the sidelines until [regulators] announce they’re going to do something with these [big banks]. Nobody is going to put fresh capital into the banking business when your major competitor is going to be continuously bailed out by the United States government with more and more money.”
Rusty Cloutier, the president and CEO of MidSouth Bank
From Diana Golobay at Housing Wire: Break Up Big Banks, Says Community Banker
Rusty Cloutier, the president and CEO of MidSouth Bank, recently told major news outlets that “[c]oncentration is a bad thing” and called for the feds to break up the “miserable eight” largest banks that, he said, control 60 to 64 percent of the country’s assets, restoring competition to the banking industry and restoring investor confidence in the system.
This is an excellent point. Most of the big banks can't raise capital because investors are afraid of nationalization preprivatization. And small banks can't raise capital because investors are concerned that their competitors (the large banks) will be continuously bailed out by the government.