ARE SOME BANKS TOO LARGE TO FAIL? MYTH AND REALITY
GEORGE G. KAUFMAN
At the time of the Continental Illinois National Bank insolvency, bank regulators considered some commercial banks "too large to fail" (TLTF) and were reluctant both to legally fail such banks and to impose pro rata losses on any of the uninsured creditors of these insolvent banks and their parent holding companies. This policy was introduced due to widespread fears that large bank failures would set off a domino effect bringing down other banks and possibly even the macroeconomy as it did during the 1930s. Also, because these banks are considered special in that they provide money and credit to their communities, many feared that their failure could reduce greatly the availability of these services. Copyright 1990 Western Economic Association International.
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