Camden Fine ICBA Quote

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Camden Fine ICBA president: “Consolidation in the banking industry and the emergence of financial institutions with explicit government guarantees against failure haven’t exactly contributed to an economic boom. It’s been just the reverse—they triggered an economic collapse.”

It’s a powerful quote, coming directly from a banker.

Here are a few more quotes from people in the industry. Click their names to see the source:

Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed: “Given the danger these institutions pose to spreading debilitating viruses throughout the financial world, my preference is for a more prophylactic approach: an international accord to break up these institutions into ones of more manageable size—more manageable for both the executives of these institutions and their regulatory supervisors.”

Alan Greenspan, former Fed president: “If they’re too big to fail, they’re too big.”

Andrew Haldane, executive director, Bank of England: “Have we solved ‘too big to fail’? No. That’s not my pessimistic verdit; it is the market’s. … Too-big-to-fail is far from gone. It is even more important it is not forgotten.”

Thomas Hoenig,  FDIC Chair: “Looking back, one sees that the crisis was inevitable, if for no other reason than that these TBTF firms would push the boundaries until there was a crisis.”

Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England: “It is hard to see how the existence of institutions that are “too important to fail” is consistent with their being in the private sector. Encouraging banks to take risks that result in large dividend and remuneration payouts when things go well, and losses for taxpayers when they don’t, distorts the allocation of resources and management of risk.”

David Komansky, former Merrill Lynch CEO: “Unfortunately, I was one of the people who led the charge to get Glass-Steagall repealed. As I sit here today, I regret those activities and wish we hadn’t done that.”

Phil Purcell, former Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley: “There is one benefit of breakups that hasn’t gotten much publicity: Shareholders would get greater value from their investments.”

Wilbur Ross, CEO of WL Ross & Co: “Running an insurance company is not the same thing as running a retail bank. We don’t think there’s any logic in them being in the same entity.”

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