The big banks that brought us to the brink of disaster—the effects of which are still being felt by the majority of the population—are now even bigger. As reported in today’s Washington Post,
The crisis may be turning out very well for many of the behemoths that dominate U.S. finance. A series of federally arranged mergers safely landed troubled banks on the decks of more stable firms. And it allowed the survivors to emerge from the turmoil with strengthened market positions, giving them even greater control over consumer lending and more potential to profit.
J.P. Morgan Chase, an amalgam of some of Wall Street’s most storied institutions, now holds more than $1 of every $10 on deposit in this country. So does Bank of America, scarred by its acquisition of Merrill Lynch and partly government-owned as a result of the crisis, as does Wells Fargo, the biggest West Coast bank. Those three banks, plus government-rescued and -owned Citigroup, now issue one of every two mortgages and about two of every three credit cards, federal data show.
That’s the way capitalism solves its crises—on capitalist terms: through the concentration and centralization of capital, and the relative immiseration of the rest of us. That’s the “new normal” we’re supposed to accept. . .