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File: A Bank of America branch is seen in Times Square October 19, 2010 in New York City.
Financial regulation of Wall Street matters in Washington. The U.S. Treasury thinks so and has begun to blog about why. Yes, blog. In its most recent post, the Treasury debunks the idea that bank reform is somehow bad for small banks:
Myth #1: Wall Street Reform Hurts Small Banks
This claim is particularly dubious given strong support for enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act by the Independent Community Bankers of America. Wall Street Reform helps level the playing field between large banks and small ones, helping to eliminate distortions that previously favored the biggest banks that held the most risk.
The operative concept here is risk. It isn't small banks that pose systemic risk to the banking system — it's the too-big-to-fail banks that ignored prudent risk models in the lead-up to the financial crisis. Robert G. Wilmers — a banking executive who runs M&T Bank, one of the few large banks that more or less sailed throught the financial crisis — provides a very succinct take on the problem at Bloomberg: