Break-up of the Euro
Deft Maneuvering

The Aristocracy of Moneyed Banks

Jonathan B. Wight

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of their country."

--Thomas Jefferson (Source:

Adam Smith had similar reservations about corporations, which he thought would pressure governments to manipulate public policies on their behalf.

Yet Smith also touted the benefits of economies of scale needed for specialization. Our love/hate relationship with size is a perpetual conflict.

Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan and others defend our "too big to fail" banking system by touting the alleged benefits of size needed to provide both economies of scale and scope. A big part of the specialization needed in banking today is to have enough lawyers to fight through all of the regulations emanating from Washington. That, more than anything, spells the death of middle size banks.

Back in earlier days—when we had Glass/Steagall and interstate banking prohibitions—it was easy to keep banks small without inundating them with regulations.

Today we are stuck with regulations that push middle-size banks to merge to cope with regulations, and then we are left with larger banks that are too big to fail. These are the moneyed corporations who then blanket Washington with lobbyists. Not a virtue cycle, for sure.


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