Tag: Shapiro

Antitrust For Banks? Ask Carl Shapiro

The Department of Justice seems to thinking, at least in principle, about potential antitrust action in and around banking.  Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney spoke about this yesterday, but her exact wording is open to interpretation, “”I have to ask if too big to fail is a failure of antitrust enforcement.”  (The press release was uninformative on this point)

More encouraging was the background briefing given to the New York Times, as seen in this paragraph,

“Ms. Varney is expected to say that the Obama administration will be guided by the view that it was a major mistake during the outset of the Great Depression to relax antitrust enforcement, only to try to catch up and become more vigorous later. She will say the mistake enabled many large companies to engage in pricing, wage and collusive practices that harmed consumers and took years to reverse.”

The thinking among antitrust experts has been that there is not much market power, conventionally defined, in financial services.  But this thinking may change, for at least three reasons. Continue reading “Antitrust For Banks? Ask Carl Shapiro”