What Does "Too Big To Fail" Mean?:

Total posts: [74]
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1 Tangent12817th Feb 2011 12:19:56 PM from Virginia , Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
I'm starting to get confused by this term, since it seems people use it for two wildly different meanings:

  • This institution is sufficiently large that it cannot collapse anytime soon.
  • This institution is sufficiently large that we must not allow it to collapse.

What are some better terms for distinguishing these two meanings? Do any organizations actually meet the first definition? How would we prevent an institution from reaching the second definition?
Do you highlight everything looking for secret messages?
I suppose it depends on the context but it is regularly used interchangeably.

The must not allow, is usually with respect to corporations backing large pieces of the economy. The other is about government-corporate collusion, as in, corruption.
They see me troll'n
It almost exclusively means the latter not the former.

Frankly, the fact that these gigantic banks have so much of our economy in their hands that if they fail it leads to national, even global recession, is a clear indicator that they are too big and have monopolized too much.

The clayton and sherman anti trust acts should be being enforced. JP Morgan and the like should get knocked down into smaller conglomerates.
4 RalphCrown17th Feb 2011 01:00:41 PM from Next Door to Nowhere
Short Hair
Link to article about why nothing will change. The chickens and the foxes keep changing places, so nobody really cares about a few billion eggs. As Commando Dude points out, when you say they're too big to fail, you've already admitted that they're too big.

edited 17th Feb '11 1:09:54 PM by RalphCrown

Under World. It rocks!
5 tricksterson17th Feb 2011 01:02:23 PM from Behind you with an icepick , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Never Trust
It means you have your hands up the asses of a lot of politicians.
6 Pykrete17th Feb 2011 01:09:09 PM from Viridian Forest
In truth it usually means the latter. In terms of hubris it often means the former.
Pretty much universally the latter, unless applying it to yourself.
9 Deboss17th Feb 2011 06:28:47 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
*waits for Mept*

edited 17th Feb '11 6:28:54 PM by Deboss

Failed Comic Artist
It means they can do whatever the fuck they want because they OWN us. Im not being dramatic here, they fucking OWN us.
I dont know why they let me out, I guess they needed a spare bed
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
[up]Well, you are being dramatic, but you're also being accurate.tongue
What's precedent ever done for us?
Lucidly Unsane
"Too Big to Fail" means that the person using the phrase sincerely doesn't believe in pure capitalism. If you make a stupid decision, you should pay for it. The excuse was to help the little guys, the workers who would be out of jobs if the companies failed. Admirable enough. But we didn't even get rid of the hundred-dollar-ass-whipin' yahoos that made the poor decisions in the first place!
"Silent Hill always gives the best presents." -agentjr

"Death feels like acoustic guitar." -helloween
Belief and morals aside, the simple fact of the matter is that they would be more than happy to pull a Taking You with Me gambit if we refused to ante up and bail them out for their latest screwup or extortion scheme.

I'm personally of the opinion we should've called in the stock they gave us during the restructuring phase, nationalized all the natural monopoly parts, then spun off the rest to their own richly deserved fate.

Failed Comic Artist
Its almost enough to make me consider communism... you know, if it wasnt so fucking stupid.
I dont know why they let me out, I guess they needed a spare bed
"The excuse was to help the little guys, the workers who would be out of jobs if the companies failed." - Trickdice

Even then, you'd think that'd be more of a reason for using government funding to help them find new jobs jobs than to use government funding to bail out the company.
16 drunkscriblerian18th Feb 2011 12:50:04 AM from Castle Geekhaven , Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
when you say they're too big to fail, you've already admitted that they're too big.

Agreed with this. If the government is forced to give a private entity millions of tax dollars so that it can survive or risk grave financial dislocation...than said entity controls too many things.

And I'm sorry; the decisions of government should apply equally. I have to suffer the consequences of my bad financial decisions; if one can become so large as to be immune from consequence, then basically we're ruled by "might makes right" and should give up any pretext of "equality under the law" counting for a good goddamn.

Considering that I can be forced out into the street if I can't make my mortgage, but a big bank (the same one who tried to do what I just mentioned, ironically enough) can just go ask the government for more funds when its coffers run dry.

Yeah, fuck that.
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
17 Deboss18th Feb 2011 01:21:48 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
As I recall, it was that most of the banks were failing, not that one was.
They see me troll'n
[up] This is because a lot of really big companies that all had large stakes in the economy, stock market, and housing industry were very interconnected in their stakes. Such as the infamous "Credit Default Swaps"

That's why when the housing bubble popped everyone not only suffered, but suffered far worse because they all depended on lies of reliability of each other.

In essence, they are all a conglomerate making up a loose singular "banking" entity. They stayed afloat making profits on incredibly stupid and risky financial gambles by relying on each other to keep the lie from collapsing and pulled each other down when things went south.

It's practically the definition of anti-free market practices.

edited 18th Feb '11 1:34:56 AM by CommandoDude

[up] I completely don't understand people who can look at this and be so gung-ho about capitalism. This is where a free market gets us.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
20 Deboss18th Feb 2011 01:44:46 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Capitalism would dictate that the companies be left to die when they screw up. And I'm okay with that. Pretending it's one company that caused all of it is foolish though. If your complaint is that industries as whole should not be able to effect the economy, I'm curious as to what you think the economy is made of.
21 Clarste18th Feb 2011 01:47:12 AM , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
One Winged Egret
I think the issue is that capitalism led to this problem in the first place. How can anyone seriously believe that pure capitalism is the solution to our problems when it obviously led to a situation where everyone would be ruined if we hadn't contaminated our capitalism? It simply doesn't create an ideal solution of any kind, or even the lesser of several evils.
22 Deboss18th Feb 2011 01:48:41 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
It most definitely wasn't pure capitalism. That would mean that all economic regulations were removed.
23 Clarste18th Feb 2011 01:50:50 AM , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
One Winged Egret
Well, there's definitely a sense in which there is no pure capitalism anywhere, and it's hard to test these things given the lack of control experiments, but I think this sort of oligarchy is inevitable, rather than a negative mutation. It's simply in an industry's best interest to collude with their supposed competitors.
24 TibetanFox18th Feb 2011 01:52:18 AM from Death Continent
Feels Good, Man
One of the big ironies of the "Small government, pro-capitalism" political position is that CEOs of big companies do NOT believe in the free market. There is a world of difference between "pro business" and "pro market" and it will benefit you to learn the difference.

We have thugs who wish to take away our personal freedom, and we have generally found that a government strong enough to keep them under control, with checks and balances to make sure they do not turn into the thugs themselves has been the most effective way to protect our personal freedoms.

Likewise, the free market is beset by actors who wish to turn it into a racket, a great big "boys club" that benefits the incumbents at the expense of everyone else. A free market left unprotected by the government will remain free no longer than a free population likewise left unprotected.

So here we find a paradox. The more successful an actor in a free market becomes, the more hostile they become to it. While the idea of the government intervening in a free market to "Cut down the tall poppies" leaves a really bad taste in my mouth, I can't get around it being an ugly necessity to keep a market as free as it possibly can, given the nature of its participants.
The regulations needed to prevent any of this from happening didn't even amount to sending in The Antitrust Reaper (though I'd laud such actions wholeheartedly, but whatever,) all that was needed were the usury laws we had in the 1960s. Those laws made the outrageous business practices needed to create financial instruments like the credit cards, auto loans, and exotic housing mortgages of today completely illegal.

The fact that banks are even allowed to offer products that dangerous to consumers at all now IS free market capitalism.


Total posts: 74
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