Forget about too big to fail, how about too big to manage.
There are six banks in the world with assets in excess of $2 trillion each and perhaps another twelve with assets of between one and two trillion.
Banking has become incredibly complex.
If a bank has a trillion dollar balance sheet, operating in perhaps thirty countries, with trading desks, loans and proprietary trading books all over the world, it becomes immensely challenging.
In the financial business, risk grows exponentially with the size and complexity of your balance sheet and I think many of these banks just became too big to manage and they lost control.
That’s what the record shows.
I learned long ago not to expand your business beyond your ability to closely and tightly manage. I think a strong case can be made to break up these big global banks into smaller, more focused and more manageable institutions. I think it’s going to happen.
In fact, it has already started.