Treasury Secretary says no financial institution is “too big to fail”

Today Paulson gave a very interesting speech in which he stated that it was unclear whether the Fed had the statutory authority to rescue Bear Stearns, and urging reexamination of the scope of the Fed’s authority.  He warned that the markets should not assume that the government will intervene to backstop financial institutions.  He also rejected the “too big to fail” theory:

“Of course, the mere creation of a market stability regulator can increase moral hazard and decrease market discipline. The expectation that a regulator will intervene to protect the system must be limited to the greatest extent possible. In other words, we must limit the perception that some institutions are either too big or too interconnected to fail. If we are to do that credibly, we must address the reality that some are. ”

In fact, his entire speech should be required reading.  Here it is:  paulson06192008


One response to “Treasury Secretary says no financial institution is “too big to fail”

  1. Amazing. Thanks for posting. Paulson was of course at Goldman.

    How about relying not only on regulations, but also considering Paul Volcker’s advice from experience: being too big is itself a problem that can and should be remedied? I’ve just posted on it at


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