It doesn’t get much clearer than this
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Stunning, innit?[cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]
by Imani Gandy (ABL)| 94 Comments
This post is in: Enhanced Protest Techniques
Click to embiggen:
Stunning, innit?[cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]
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Omissions: Chemical Bank swallowed Manufacturer’s Hanover in the early 90s, and Chase also swallowed Bank of New York, which had previously bought up Barclay’s Bank of New York’s consumer business. So you can add all of those to the JP Morgan Chase tree.
All of this took place within the 1990 – present time frame of the diagram. I doubt those are the only omissions — those are just the ones I know of because I did work for Chemical and Barclay’s Bank of NY in the 90s.
FBi Surveillance Van Down By The River
To make it even better, let’s add the bailout monies above each line in green, according to bank, and the sum totals at the end. Then, show how much they’re trying to nail everyone for in added fees over the past few weeks. Then add the number of foreclosures in red under each line.
Where’s the money go, guys? Jamie? Hello?
Bank CEOs, please – implore the networks for some time so you can explain to the people who bankrolled your sorry, risk-taking asses where the fcuk all the money has gone. Then tell us how much you take home every two weeks. Boy, I’ll bet there’s gonna be a lot of crying for you!
Also missing, Boatmen’s Bank which was swallowed by NationsBank in 1996.
First Chicago swallowed up NBD (National Bank of Detroit) in the early 90s also.
Wow! No wonder last time I moved I had to toss a mountain of checkbooks from no-longer-existing banks. Now I’m at Chopped Liver Savings… that one will get left alone, right?
FBi Surveillance Van Down By The River
BankOne swallowed Guaranty in south central Louisiana in the late 1980s, if I recall correctly.
Service immediately went downhill faster than a lead-lined pinewood derby car filled with clowns.
Villago Delenda Est
You go back even farther, and even more banks are swallowed into these “big four”. Seattle and the PNW used to have many, many major commercial banks, but most of them got acquired by Wells Fargo or BoA over the last 30 years.
Does Bowery Savings still exist in NYC? I remember seeing that back in the 80’s on a visit, and was just fascinated by the name, given the rep of “The Bowery” in popular culture.
Hey there’s my old bank in there–Security Pacific. I opened a checking account with them and two weeks later they were bought out by BofA.
This looks even worse than our shrinking range of “news” outlets:
Ha, I remember them. I also remember HF Ahmanson which was also known as Home Savings & Loan.
The small group of state banks where I opened an account after moving to this area was also acquired by Wells Fargo, along with some other banking properties Carl Pohlad used to control.
For some reason my post failed to make it on why US Bancorp is never on these lists. Go do a wiki on all the banks they’ve swallowed up since the 90s.
I remember Baybank.
Fleet was bought by BoA. I had an account there.
I moved to a small bank. A bank officer had moved from BoA to the small bank. BoA was difficult to work for.
In the 80’s, a lot of savings and loans got gobbled up before they went belly up.
We are Bigger Than You Think
Its probably been said before, but it is worth repeating:
We don’t want to abolish capitalism, Bank of America or Goldman Sachs. We simply want to reduce it to the size where we can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.
We need to restore the economic checks and balances before we also lose the political checks and balances.
Where I live it seems that new banks are established with the intent of getting bought out by a bigger bank.
I was afraid of this happening eventually when they passed banking “reform” that legalized interstate banking. Before that, there were no banks “too big to fail”, outside perhaps of investment banks which are a whole different animal.
As others have said there are many more banks merged away than shown. Washington Mutual swallowed two big ones here in California, Home Savings and American Savings, both longtime fixtures in our area, to gain access to this state. Anyone remember Crocker Bank, one of the old time San Francisco banks, purchased by First Interstate many years ago?
Davis X. Machina
@Maude: I originally had my money in Maine Savings Bank. Great bank. Bought me my first real car. Gave me an overdraft that saved the day when the hot water heater went. Supported HS debate in the state with scholarships to debate camp, and bought us our trophies.
They got et by Fleet. Who got et by BoA. Who suck.
And every single credit union member I know has a similar story.
@JGabriel: No, Bank of New York was merged with Mellon Bank. Could you mean Irving Trust?
ETA: Citibank also took over Franklin National Bank/European American.
It’s like a Galtian March Madness bracket
Baybank ate my first bank, in the ’80s, Franklin Savings, at the corner of Charles and Beacon Street in Boston Last time I was there, it was a Starbucks.
Programming note: Is it possible for you to link to the original source URL of the graphic, ABL?
I’m assuming there was some other commentary that accompanied it. Unless you produced it yourself, which is also cool.
Also missing Seafirst Bank, which got swallowed up in the 90’s by Bank of America.
Seafirst was always fairly shitty, but getting et by BoA didn’t exactly improve things.
I wonder where HSBC and RBS stacks up in all of this. My wife got an HSBC credit card about 4 years ago and I’d never heard of them before.
Now they own every bit of debt I have except my mortgage which got dumped by Countrywide into the Thresher Maw of Bank of Amerika who I loathe with the force of a thousand suns.
@The Populist: Mostly because they’re #5, and as such they don’t get on “Top 4” lists.
@arguingwithsignposts: Go here.
Just think that each and every one of these mergers/take overs contained provisions to reduce corporate contributions since there would be one entity and not two. (Former development assistant who kept track of these companies and their contributions.)
@We are Bigger Than You Think:
“If there are people in this country rich enough to own the government, they are going to own it.”
– Woodrow Wilson
Frankly, a return to 90% tax rates on the very richest Americans deserves to be considered on that basis alone.
angry banking lassie
No, the banks merging says little about what’s going on right now.
It’s like this country learned absolutely nothing from the S&L debacle of the 1980’s.
If you put that graph on its side, it would look like a skyline just begging to have planes flown into it. Do I get a Moore Award?
Its not the banks that are the problem. WE are the problem.
We have to get on their asses and on the backs of the Congress to allow us to control the excesses. We have been lazy citizens and in the absence of any consequence, the congress has allowed these organizations to go nuts and rob us all blind.
It is important to look candidly in the mirror about how things got this bad. Yes, greedy, exploitive assholes run the banks — they have and will always exist — not only in banking but in every other major business. It is up to us to control THEM.
We are just at the beginning here… and I hope we don’t lose the energy or momentum…
In the end, there can be only one.
I posted this Will Rogers commentary back in April, but it’s still fresh today as it was in 1931.
@PurpleGirl: Bank of New York sold its branches to Chase, allowing it to concentrate on its more profitable institutional banking services. Shortly thereafter it merged with Mellon Bank, who had performed the same maneuver with RBS/Citizens Bank.
I can’t imagine why. This isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Conglomerated banks operate with less overhead and reduced risk in any individual market.
Walmart, Microsoft, Exxon – they all operate the same way. Gobble up the competition, grow your consumer base, and prosper.
Another one not shown: For years I banked with Atlanta-based Citizens & Southern Bank (C&S) which was absorbed sometime in the late ’80s or early ’90s by Bank of America, which was to become NationsBank. Eventually I switched to Wachovia, now Wells Fargo. Time for me to go in search of a credit union, although the very idea of all the paperwork changes and hassle (direct deposit of salary, all the online bill paying, etc.) is so daunting that I keep putting it off.
But that chart is a terrifying version of the big-fishes-eating-little-fishes corporate ethos of the financial industry. Amazing visual.
And the big banks continue to grow their share of total banking assets.
@Davis X. Machina:
I felt powerless when the bank I had was bought a few times. Fleet had bought the regional bank before BoA took over.
It is the same thing that happened to good companies in the 80’s with all the M and A. It ruined companies and eventually employment.
There was a time when if a company exec said that the profit and stock price were the most important things, that person would have been scorned.
Davis X. Machina
@karen marie: Shawmut, of the iconic Indian. A hundred years of Boston kids thought that all Native Americans looked more or less like the Sachem Obbatinewat. One could do worse.
It’s hard to think of a Boston without him. He and John Hancock owned Boston.
@BBA: Aha. Crafty sons of bitches.
I’m also not seeing Manufacturers Hanover on the chart. What ever happened to Manny Hanny? Haven’t thought of them in years.
Short Bus Bully
It’s why I will be visiting the protest here in Seattle this weekend. It’s why I’ve volunteered for my local Democratic party. It’s time to get involved.
fixt, with emphasis on consumer. It’s time to become citizens.
Davis X. Machina
@PurpleGirl: Every orchestra, museum, theater group, etc… in America has been precisely there.
There was a good New Yorker piece a couple years ago on what happened in Philly when their native philanthropy was M’d and A’d into the ether. And now their symphony is in the shitter.
Does anyone know why this happens/why it is so terrible? I know the oligopoly argument and I know that insiders profit hugely from mergers but other than that, what’s the merger frenzy about? So many mergers are disastrous things, for the corps. So what’s the pull toward it?
@SiubhanDuinne: Manny Hanny was bought by Chemical, before Chemical itself was eaten by Chase.
@Comrade Kevin: Oh, they learned, alright…
Never steal anything small, IRIC, was the lesson that debacle taught the Keating 5, inter alia.
@ChrisNYC: The top management makes a lot of money and bonuses for making the deals. And then they cut the redundant lower level jobs.
For example, Jamie Dimon was forced out of Citibank when Sandy Weill retired. Dimon took the top job in Chicago at Bank One (IIRC), when Bank One was bought/merged by JP Morgan Chase, he left Chicago and moved back to NY (never having given up the NYC apartment) to take the top spot at JP Morgan Chase. He really wanted to be back in competition against Citibank.
Florida’s Barnett Bank is another not mentioned in the chart. With assets over $40B, I would have thought they might make the cut. Barnett merged with NationsBank in 1997.
Isn’t Chase part of JP Morgan?
It seems to never end.
I remember when someone told me that Franklin Savings in NYC was going away. It was hard to understand. It was seen as a solid bank.
So what I’m gathering from the comments is that the chart in question underreports the problem?
@ChrisNYC: it’s the inherent nature of capitalism, unchecked, it eventually devolves to oligarchy/monopolies/trusts (whatever you’d like to call it).
It’s bad because less competition means fewer choices for consumers. Fewer choices for consumers means a less free market, which, for entrenched powers, is a good thing.
There are a lot of reasons M&A happens. As someone mentioned upthread, they did away with the ban on interstate banking and banks in various regions wanted to get into new markets, the easiest way to do that was to buy existing banks and rebrand. Or your competitor has some advantage (patent, copyright, trademark, manufacturing or marketing capabilities) that you want and that they can’t exploit as well as they would like. This happens quite a bit in all businesses – Apple, Microsoft, and Google do it all the time (Blogger, from what I hear, is about to get rebranded as Googlesomethingorother). And in most cases it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Where it becomes a problem is when too much of the market gets consolidated in too few hands.
Of course, the most recent round of M&A was because nobody knew what the fuck they were doing when the housing market went to hell and people started going into default. The only viable answer that most were able to come up with was “have someone buy them out.”
@PurpleGirl: Yeah, they make $$$ on the deal, as well as the lawyers and others who paper the deal. But, Dimon’s history, standing alone, isn’t incriminating. Sounds like hot shot banker worked for a series of banks (because bankers work at banks) and wanted to work for the very very biggest bank. Greedy, careerist, yet. But, that happens all over. I’m not doubting that it’s a bad thing (I’ve read too much about the evils of concentration). I just don’t understand what is the “this is why we occupy wall street” connection. Serious question.
I use Citibank. I could change. Easily. Would it help? If it would, it’s an easy action item.
Have a look at Citi’s Plutonomy Memos. Written in 2006 as long-term asset strategy, they DRIP contempt for us down here.
Their #1 stated fear is that we finally catch on, and demand our fair share back. They go on to state that they have the power and influence to enact any type of Civil crisis to STOP that.
Please download these memos, and repost wherever possible. They will not last long where they are, and I am running out of venues.
I am back, as long as my health allows. I feel that wide dissemination of these memos is absolutely vital.
I know this probably didn’t happen with all these banks, but a lot of banks recently have been swallowed up because they got shut down by the FDIC. But these are mostly smaller, regional banks.
@Maude: Yes, Chase and JP Morgan merged.
Franklin National ran into some trouble in the late 70s/early 80s (IIRC) and became European American. (I had an account with Franklin National.) And then Citibank bought European American.
OT, local news guy (WAMU-FM, DC) just broke in to announce that Steve Jobs has died (per press release by Apple).
Guess they had the worst of both worlds.
@sharl: Fuck. Sad news.
ETA: Nothing showing up in the Google yet. I hope it’s just another rumor.
Ne England Merchant’s, &
The Provident… Boston institutions of yore
Offtopic, but news outlets reporting that Steve Jobs has died.
Unfortunately, Apple’s home page confirms it.
@arguingwithsignposts: Reuters and MSNBC are both confirming that Apple has announced Steve Jobs’ death.
@sharl: Damn, I had to refresh the page three times to get to that.
RIP, Steve Jobs.
ETA: talk about timing. The day after the iPhone 4S announcement. He must have really been sick when he stepped down.
@arguingwithsignposts: Ars Technica has an article up about it.
Steve Jobs just died. (Aaand – late again).
There’s no industry that doesn’t look like that.
We helped Citibank through their
collapselittle troubles in South America in the 1980s. ‘Cause it was all the fault of them Mexicans, obviously.
@KG: Yeah, but, not so much. I see the competition thing, but, really, retail banking is tiny. Our deposits, yeah, they pull in dough and our fees too but nothing super duper. Plus, I’m not a lover of “keep it in state” — crossing state lines, doing business in diff states makes you regulable by the Feds, much better than state regs (see, e.g. terrible corrupt state insurance commissioners versus pretty damn good FDIC). I don’t know. I’m willing to believe the financial behemoth is a huge problem but I have a hard time pinpointing why. I suspect the answer is maybe more global.
So not being sarcastic — imagine how many lives SJ made better. It’s like Michael Jackson. Sad but amazing that people have such stuff in them.
Expanding a little on what Purplegirl said, capitalism supposedly works because people look out for their own interests, but that breaks down if the employee’s interests are not those of the corporation. If the managers can get a big bonus for a merger that’s bad for the corporation, well, too bad for the corporation. (Despite legal fictions, they aren’t really people, and can’t make decisions or take actions except through their employees.)
This failure to align corporate and employee interests is surprisingly pervasive. Many of the failed banks got into bad positions because taking such positions gave the traders (and their bosses) larger bonuses.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
No, no, and no. She means all balloonbaggers – from Day One.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
Fortunately, President Obama made them Occupy Wall Street by using his fearlessly fierce in your face Look Forward, Not Backward strategery. Kudos, Mr. Presidentin, we owe you a hearty debt of gratitude for teasing the panther until it made RAWR.
@ChrisNYC: In 1996 bank regulation by the Feds effectively ended when Gramm – Leach – Bliley repealed Glass – Steagal. And the games began…
From the end of the Depression, the banking sector was stable and didn’t cause a major meltdown. After 1996, it was a collapse waiting to happen.
@Uncle Clarence Thomas:
“I totally mocked, denigrated and otherwise stupidly dismissed real people with real problems. But now they’ve hit the headlines so me and my Obotian BFF Shoq have decided to co-opt their energy and enthusiasm. Wevs and bygones, bitchez!”
There’s nothing I enjoy more than being fierce. I fiercely enjoy being fierce.
We had Citizens First, an old-time NJ local bank, that was bought by Fleet. By the time I got our first checks, BofA had gobbled it up.
LOL, okay nice point!
@Fulcanelli: HSBC is one of the big banks in Europe and Asia. Huge outside the USA. They are currently selling their retail branches to other banks (recently in NY state) and they want to dump the CC portfolio on somebody else.
@JGabriel: Chase didn’t take over Bank of New York. They just took over their retail branches. Bank of New York was the first bank to do a hostile takeover of another bank; they took Irving Trust. They merged with Mellon Bank in 2007. Mellon mgmt is now in charge. News today is that the federal & NYS are going after BNY/Mellon over exchange rates.
mike in dc
Extrapolating from that chart, I see two further consolidations down the road, with the second one being an entity known as the Federal Bank of the United States–presumably coming into being after the next inevitable banking industry collapse. Swedenize the bastards next time.
@SiubhanDuinne: Manny Hanny was taken over by Chemical Bank which was taken over by Chase.
I used to work at Manny Hanny in the late eighties. I worked in Hicksville, NY at the Retail Card Services division.
So who owns Capital One?
If I’m not mistaken, our political leaders had a wide-open opportunity to end bank consolidation. I think that was about 2 years ago – give or take a quarter.
I wonder why they didn’t act when they had the chance?
Could there be some type of dependent relationship between them?
@Catsy: I had a Seafirst account, then WaMu, then the execrable Chase. Finally opened a BECU account, and I couldn’t be happier.
Thanks, I knew there was some part of BNY that Chase took over. I guess I mistook the retail branches for the whole shebang.
Can someone point me to an original source for that graphic?