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Bailouts spawn the "Big Four"

August 28, 2009 - Mike Maneval

The Washington Post's David Cho is reporting bad news on the bank bailouts of the past year: The net effect has been the consolidation of banking, leaving four institutions - J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo - issuing half of the country's new mortgages and about two-thirds of new credit cards.

Cho talks with a number of economists and officials, who explain, largely across the board, that the winnowing of the market portends a return of what Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com describes as oligopoly. Other data researched by the Post includes increases in fees recently by the Big Four, which consumers of course have a harder time escaping with fewer options.

Camden Fine of the Independent Community Bankers of America says the trend shows the federal government's preferential treatment of larger institutions, and the article itself walks through how trust laws were continually set aside to save the banks "too big to fail" by making said banks even bigger.

 
 

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