For those of you who have a disdain for big banks, I hope your opinion is based on facts and not the propaganda put out by the politicians and mainstream media.
If Americans make decisions based on propaganda, than America is no better off than a communist nation that puts out propaganda via the media they control. Propaganda is propaganda, and the end result is the same: A country controlled by the politicians and the powerful, and not the people.
For a hundred years the government has known about the dangers of monopolies, for example, Standard Oil was broken up a hundred years ago because of its monopoly powers.
Even though there were laws enacted to protect consumers from monopolies, banks have been allowed to merge until the 4 largest banks in the U.S. now hold over half of all the deposits.
To make matters worse, a law enacted during the Great Depression that kept banks out of investment banking was repealed in 1999. With the go-ahead from the government, banks expanded into investment banking, which meant taking on more risk.
In 2008, some banks got into trouble. The politicians said we must bail them out or there could be an economic collapse. So taxpayers bailed them out.
Why not just let them fail?
The two largest banks have $2 trillion in deposits. The FDIC has $4 billion of reserves. What do you think would happen if the FDIC had to pay off even part of $2 trillion worth of losses with a reserve fund of only $4 billion? The FDIC insures approximately $6.5 trillion of deposits at 7,500 different financial institutions, and that's just two of them!
Judge for yourself, but if the government had acted responsibly, there wouldn't be four banks that are so large that if they fail we're forced to bail them out.
Many Americans aspire to be wealthy. The desire to become wealthy motivates people to be inventive and start businesses. Take away capitalism and the chance of becoming wealthy, and you'll end up depending on the government zombies for everything (it's already happening).
The Occupy Wall Street protestors say the system isn't fair. I agree.
Who's suppose to make sure that taxes are fair, that business regulations are fair? It's the government's job. I say historic change needs to come from the voters: In 2012, vote for anyone, but a Democrat or Republican.