Nate Oman has an interesting, if somewhat sobering, poist at Concurring Opinions which begins as follows:
One of my students sent me the pages from Lehman's filings listing the 30 top unsecured creditors. It's a simple column of figures that makes sobering reading, even for a let-the-market-punish-them enthusiast such as myself. First past the post is CitiBank with $138 billion in unsecured bonds. Just for fun, I tried to find out what $138 billion will get you in today's world.
The comparative numbers he offers are so big as to nearly defy comprehension.
I understand the Schumpaterian arguments for size and global competitiveness, but isn't there still some virtue to keeping firms from getting too enormous?
OK, Lehman wasn't too big to fail. But two or three Lehmans might be.
And we just socialized AIG (Fed to lend $85 billion to AIG, take 80 percent stake). Did FDR do anything on this scale?