Speeches by Dallas Fed, Richard W. Fisher Ending 'Too Big to Fail': A Proposal for Reform Before It's Too Late

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Speeches by Dallas Fed, Richard W. Fisher Ending ‘Too Big to Fail’: A Proposal for Reform Before It’s Too Late

Speeches by Dallas Fed, Richard W. Fisher Ending ‘Too Big to Fail’: A Proposal for Reform Before It’s Too Late

Dallas Federal Reserve-

The Problem of TBTF

Everyone and their sister knows that financial institutions deemed too big to fail were at the epicenter of the 2007–09 financial crisis. Previously thought of as islands of safety in a sea of risk, they became the enablers of a financial tsunami. Now that the storm has subsided, we submit that they are a key reason accommodative monetary policy and government policies have failed to adequately affect the economic recovery. Harvey Rosenblum and I first wrote about this in an article published in the Wall Street Journal in September 2009, “The Blob That Ate Monetary Policy.”[3] Put simply, sick banks don’t lend. Sick—seriously undercapitalized—megabanks stopped their lending and capital market activities during the crisis and economic recovery. They brought economic growth to a standstill and spread their sickness to the rest of the banking system.

Congress thought it would address the issue of TBTF through the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Preventing TBTF from ever occurring again is in the very preamble of the act. We contend that Dodd–Frank has not done enough to corral TBTF banks and that, on balance, the act has made things worse, not better. We submit that, in the short run, parts of Dodd–Frank have exacerbated weak economic growth by increasing regulatory uncertainty in key sectors of the U.S. economy. It has clearly benefited many lawyers and created new layers of bureaucracy. Despite its good intention, it has been counterproductive, working against solving the core problem it seeks to address.

[FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS]

image: Bloomberg

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