Sunday, December 15, 2013

Banking's Big 4

From Businessweek:

Don’t be so sure. Five years after the system was held at gunpoint by a massively interconnected and over-risked Wall Street, the country’s six biggest banks—JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), and Morgan Stanley (MS)—are now 37 percent larger than they were in the depths of the financial crisis. These institutions make more than four out of every 10 loans and tote two-thirds of the banking system’s $14.4 trillion in assets, according to WkndNotes, a private newsletter e-mailed to traders and brokers by investor Eric Peters....JPMorgan Chase is about the size of the entire British economy and holds 12 percent of all cash in the U.S. Unpack its corporate letterhead and you will find old Fortune 500 stalwarts like Washington Mutual, Providian, Chemical Bank, Banc One, Bear Stearns, and Great Western, among many other absorbed institutions. Bank of America, which snapped up Countrywide and Merrill Lynch (and pretty much all Merrill Lynch has snapped up) accounts for about a third of all U.S. business loans, while Wells Fargo (think Wachovia-First Union-CoreStates and the Money Store) makes a quarter of all mortgage loans.
 This is not quite the era of the Trusts, but these four are huge.

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