So my colleague, Danielle Ivory, and I have recently been covering the economic crisis and found ourselves thoroughly intrigued by the bank mergers happening all over the country. We looked into it, connected the dots, and this is what we discovered..
With newfound bailout money in their wallets, big banks have been rushing to gobble up smaller ones. Bank Of America has become so big that it actually is in violation of a 1994 law written to prevent any one institution from gaining too much power.
At the center of these mergers is the Treasury Department, led by Goldman Sachs alums Henry Paulson and Neel Kashkari (you might remember his Ferrari, recently profiled on Gawker.) While neglecting struggling homeowners, they have created major incentives for widespread bank consolidation, which could lead to a host of new problems. And, as members of Congress recently noted, Treasury officials seem to be making the rules up as they go.