The nation’s five biggest banks are bigger than they were six years ago.
Over the past three decades, the U.S. financial system has suffered a nasty financial shock every half dozen years or so, on average. And each incarnation has been different — from the 1987 stock-market crash to the savings-and-loan crisis to the demise of Long-Term Capital Management to the Great Global Financial Crisis, which arguably began six years ago this summer with the collapse of two Bear Stearns hedge funds.
If life were like the movies, it would be time for some world-weary-but-knowing character to drop the now-hackneyed line, “There’s a storm coming.” And whatever form that storm might take, would Wall Street be ready to weather it? Or more important for Main Street, would the U.S. economy be able to withstand another financial blowup without resorting to yet another taxpayer bailout?