The Book That Will Save Banking From Itself

The limited liability of shareholders still incentivizes them to allow the banks in which they invest to take greater risks than they would if they were forced to live with not just the gains from financial risk-taking but also the losses. Small depositors, whose funds are being turned into risky investments, are still covered by deposit insurance, so they could care less what the bankers do. Big depositors and anyone else who extends credit to banks still believe the bigger the bank the better, as the bigger the bank the greater the likelihood that the central bank will bail them out if things go wrong. (JPMorgan Chase today, King notes, has the same market share as the top 10 banks did collectively back in 1960.) That isn’t to say that nothing has been done, just that what’s been done is disturbingly beside the point.

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