Small business lending has fallen some at small and mid-sized banks, but not nearly as much as it has at big banks. All of this adds up to what may be the most compelling argument for breaking up the nation's biggest banks.
As Republicans gather in Tampa this week, they've got a bit of a problem: figuring out how to wine, dine, and celebrate their sugar daddies in style without ripping back the veil of secrecy they've drawn over their super-wealthy backers.
Every day we rise and tell ourselves this will be a good day, free of that unique combination of predation, self-pity, mediocrity and disingenousness which characterizes the modern bank executive. And every day somebody proves us wrong.
The public at large is finally learning about abuses in the credit card banking industry. Over time, the banks may change their policies. But as a consumer, you must learn your rights, and you must insist that your rights are upheld.
Given the massive bailouts the industry scored in 2008-9, and how easy policy-makers have been on them, the arrogance and hubris of talking about Soviet style government is pretty amazing. But then that fits quite well with Romney and Ryan, too.
Sandy Weill's Citigroup engaged in fraud on a massive scale, unfettered risk taking and then needed a massive taxpayer bailout during the 2008 financial crisis because it was so big it couldn't be managed. Yet only now does Weill say it was all a mistake.
The behavior of the largest banks is not only rapacious and destructive to the social fabric, it is also stunts economic growth. They are not investing the huge resources they have accumulated in ways that would stimulate the economy.