Davies-WhytheBigBanksCantImagineTheirOwnDemises1-690Why the Big Banks Can’t Imagine Their Own Demises


This is a newyorker.com article.


One of the signal, but formerly obscure, achievements of the Dodd-Frank Act, passed in the wake of the financial crisis, was the requirement that big banks write “living wills” in preparation for their eventual deaths. These documents (the technical term is “resolution plans”) specify everything from how subsidiaries might continue to operate after a head office has declared bankruptcy to how I.T.-service contracts can be transferred to new ownership. Their larger aim is to insure that, in the event of a 2008-level crisis, the big banks can die with dignity, so to speak, instead of requiring taxpayers to bail them out. But, as we discovered last week, when the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation declared the majority of the wills filed last July to be inadequate, large financial institutions can be as reluctant as the rest of us to contemplate their own mortality.

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