Too Big to Fail

  • Senator SHELBY. A threshold question comes to me: What constitutes ‘‘too big to fail’’? What constitutes that?
  • Senator SHELBY. How do you define that?
  • Sheila BAIR - FDIC. It is difficult to define.
    • I think it is market perception as much as a precise definition.  (p22)

2009 0506 - GOV (Senate Banking) - Regulation and Resolving Institutions Considered "Too Big to Fail" - [PDF-121p, Video-Senate]

In a paper read before the insurance commissioners in June last Mr. D. P. Fackler said:

  • Many have grave fears of bad results if the largest companies are allowed to continue to grow indefinitely, and if any fair, person thinks these fears groundless he must certainly admit that he can conceive that some companies might, by some possibility grow to such vast size that their assets and affairs could not be perfectly managed by their officers, supervised by their director. and examined by state insurance officials.

1893 - The Chronicle, v1 - GooglePlay

1905 1208 - NYT - Life Insurance Reform:  Legislation Should Be as Simple as Possible--Put on the Brakes!, David Parks Fackler, Consulting Actuary - [link]

We must get rid of "too big to fail."

  • It must be declared today that there will not be government backup other than some sort of minimum level.
  • You could use  $100,000 on deposits if you want to. Insurance companies have had their own fund.
  • That $100,000 should absolutely be paid solely by the banking industry.
  • There shouldn't be a nickel to the taxpayer, but it has to be clear that there's a limit and anyone who has more than $100,000 to put in a bank can gauge whether that's an appropriate risk reward to take, just as they would with mutual funds for example.
  • We have to address this, and we have to make it clear because there is, as we've seen in other countries in Asia, not enough money around to support irrational risk-taking, and there's lots of irrational risk-taking going on out there.

--  Richard M. Kovacevich, President and CEO at Wells Fargo and Company

1999 -  SOA - CEO Perspective: The Future of Financial Services, Society of Actuaries - 19p