To prevent the collapse of the global financial system in 2008, Treasury committed 245 billion in taxpayer dollars to stabilize America's banking institutions. Today, banks that were once "too big to fail" have only grown bigger, with JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs holding assets equal to over 50% of the U.S. economy. Were size and complexity at the root of the financial crisis, or do calls to break up the big banks ignore real benefits that only economies of scale can pass on to customers and investors?
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John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News Nightline. He has served as ABC White House Correspondent, along with postings in Moscow, London, Jerusalem and Amman.
Douglas Elliott is a fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. A financial institutions investment banker for two decades, principally at J.P. Morgan, he was the founder and principal researcher for the Center on Federal Financial Institutions, a think tank devoted to the analysis of federal lending and insurance activities. At Brookings, he focuses primarily on financial institutions and markets and their regulation. Elliott has researched financial institutions or worked directly with them as clients in a range of capacities, including as: an equities analyst, a credit analyst, a mergers & acquisitions specialist, a relationship officer, and a specialist in securitizations. His work has encompassed banks, insurers, funds management firms, and other financial institutions. In addition to 14 years at J.P. Morgan, Elliott worked as an investment banker with Sanford Bernstein, Sandler O’Neill, and ABN AMRO.
Richard W. Fisher is president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, a post he’s held since 2005, and chairman of the Conference of Federal Reserve Bank Presidents. Fisher has served on numerous corporate and charitable boards, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an overseer of Harvard University, and an honorary fellow of Hertford College, Oxford University. He received the Service to Democracy Award and Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Public Service from the American Assembly. Fisher is also a member of the Dallas Business Hall of Fame. Fisher is former vice chairman of Kissinger McLarty Associates, a strategic advisory firm chaired by former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.
Prof. Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
He is also a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., a co-founder of BaselineScenario.com (a much cited website on the global economy), a member of the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Economic Advisers, and a member of the FDIC’s Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the private sector systemic risk council founded and chaired by Sheila Bair in 2012.
Paul Saltzman is the president of The Clearing House Association and executive vice president and general counsel of The Clearing House Payments Company, the oldest and largest private sector payments operator in the U.S. Under his stewardship, the Association has emerged as the advocacy leader for the largest commercial banks in the U.S. and has been recognized for its development of a research and data-driven approach to legislative and regulatory advocacy. Saltzman has 25 years of experience in financial services, industry association management, and emerging technology development. He served as the executive VP and general counsel for the Bond Market Association (now SIFMA), the managing director and general counsel of Ellington Management Group, and the executive VP and COO of eSpeed, Inc. Formerly, he was an in-house counsel for Greenwich Capital Markets and Kidder Peabody and Co., as well as an attorney specializing in structured finance at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.