The dismal state of the US banking industry

The Daily Show takes a close look at the banking sector in the US where, unlike in many countries, the banks seem to be more like crime syndicates than staid financial institutions.

In the first clip, the show discusses yet another revelation about how the banks and ratings agencies colluded to play fast and loose with other people’s money while they got rich, knowing that what they were doing was corrupt and likely to cause a collapse.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
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In the second clip, Jason Jones compares the banking practices in the US and Canada and the way their respective public views bankers. Where does this show find guys like Tabacco to interview? Is there some directory of rich idiots with no sense of self-awareness?

(These clips aired on June 24, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)


  1. says

    The banking industry is fine for those for whom it matters.
    The bankers.

    Sure, their profits are down, but that’s because they got greedy and cratered the economy in ’08.

  2. machintelligence says

    With all of these smoking guns lying around, when will we see some prosecutions — with jail time a possibility?

  3. says

    We’ll only see wall streeters in jail when it’s a competitive advantage for them to arrest and imprison eachother. invisibul hand of the market and all that..

  4. left0ver1under says

    One of the funniest things I’ve heard is how most Americans who have tried TD Bank in the US love it because of the different management and corporate culture. TD is Toronto Dominion. After the 2008 collapse, many large and small US banks were bought out by various Canadian banks.

  5. CaitieCat says

    The major difference is that we have very tight government control on bank mergers. The Big Five – Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, and the abovementioned TD/Canada Trust – have been the five biggest banks for decades. A couple of trust companies came along, trying to break into the market, but were eventually absorbed by the big banks (Royal Trust went to Royal Bank, National Trust went to…CIBC, I think?, Canada Trust merged with TD). Canadian banks have fairly strong reserve requirements, and mergers are subject to approval by the government, which has turned down several proposed mergers of Big Five members. They’re not enormous banks, by world standards, but they’re large enough for Canada, and they’re in a pretty good equilibrium, no wildly different market shares among them.

    The banks are stable, well-regulated, and only in the last decade or so able to sell insurance (just as insurance companies are now allowed to offer banking). The other option for consumers here are the Credit Unions – small, often local, savings & loan-type banks. Our main complaints about our banking come from the gouging for retail fees that happens pretty much system-wide ($45, at my bank, for an NSF cheque – on top of whatever penalty the payee might levy!), the terrible interest rates for savings (basically 0%), that kind of thing.

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