TBTF banks

There Goes Detroit!

Detroit just filed for bankruptcy.  This is the largest city bankruptcy in U.S. history and much of it has to do with the banks.

Legions have fled Detroit over the last decade.

Detroit lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010. A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million is struggling to stay above 700,000. Much of the middle-class and scores of businesses also have fled Detroit, taking their tax dollars with them.

Signs of Desperation: Fee Increases Signal End of an Era for Too Big To Fail Banks

Do you think the $5 monthly charge Bank of America announced for its debit card customers is all about squeezing the consumer? Think again. What we are really witnessing are the death throes of an industry – the Too Big To Fail Banks. These are the banks that, at the height of the housing bubble, acted like they were hedge funds. They expected to earn 20% a year on their equity, and they rewarded their top executives accordingly, with bonuses in excess of $10 million for the CEO. Now all sorts of forces are conspiring to drag these banks into the boring, and decidedly non-lucrative status of utilities, earning maybe 5% a year on their equity, with their income capped by government decree. The bank executives don’t like this one bit. They see themselves being sucked down into the quicksand of $100,000 annual bonuses, and they are fighting back with everything they’ve got, even if it means making their cash-strapped customers pay ridiculous fees for services that used to be free.