As we start nationalizing the most insolvent of the major banks we need to take a new look at our anti-trust laws. In addition to putting teeth back into the idea that competition is a good thing, we need to realize that corporations, and banks in particular, that get “too big to fail” represent huge national security threats.
It is telling that the two attacks that have had the most devastating economic impact on American citizens have both come from our own bankers. No military threat or action has ever been as damaging to the American people as the Great Depression in the 1930’s or Depression 2.0 that we are entering now.
We need to fully recognize that banking is an absolutely critical function of our way of life, and that anything that threatens our banks threatens us. And we need to recognize that the most severe threats to our banks have historically come solelyfrom their own executive leadership. We must nuetralize bank executives’ ability to put the banks that are so central to our public well-being in jeopardy. The best way to do this is to divide and conquer. Citibank and Bank of America have to, for the moment, be viewed as the enemy. And since they are too big to take on head to head, we need to break them up into much smaller pieces, none of which has sufficient power to harm us.
We spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on our military so that more than anything else, it can be a credible deterrant to attacks on us. We need to have a similarly sophisticated and credible deterent capable of preventing attacks coming at us from our bankers. In our nation’s brief lifetime, the most damaging threats to our well being come from inside, not outside.