The Wall Street Big Boys Are Neanderthal Protectionists

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Wednesday, 06 February 2013 05:54

One of the arguments that the Wall Street boys put forward to preserve their too big to fail subsidy from the government is that if we broke up the behemoth banks then big corporations would turn to foreign banks for many of their financial needs. The Post presents this assertion as a serious argument in a Neil Irwin column reporting on a paper arguing the case for big banks. 

It is difficult to understand why anyone should give a damn if corporations get financial services from overseas. We import clothes and steel, what's the problem if we import financial services? Maybe the Wall Street whizes just need a lecture on how free trade benefits everyone. Their argument that we should be concerned that we are importing financial services is probably less compelling than the argument that we should be concerned that we are importing clothes. (Do we really want to be like Ireland or Iceland with hugely out-sized banks that we are stuck bailing out?) Maybe if we can teach the Wall Street boys intro economics we will finally be able to break up too big to fail banks.