Thursday, November 3, 2011

E Pluribus Quattuor : Out of Many, Four

The old moto "E Pluribus Unum" was printed on the back of the U.S. penny.

When Congress bailed out insolvent Wall Street banks in 2008, not only did this move enable Wall Street to continue paying large bonuses, it gave America's largest banks the resources to swallow even more small banks.  The appearance of four humongous banks marked the culmination of a process that had been going on for two decades. 

Somehow the Big Four escaped bankruptcy and were declared to have passed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's "stress test" in 2009.  To mark the occasion, "E Pluribus Quattuor" was proposed as the new moto for the United States America by a committee of the U.S. Senate.

E Pluribus Quattuor describes an action: Many uniting into four. An accurate translation of the motto is "Out of many, four."
Too big to fail chart h/t James Fallows


  1. Arbuckle Doc6.11.11

    Dept. of "FatCatLand Security"!!!

  2. Anonymous7.11.11

    Couple of facts for you:
    1) There have not been any significant bank mergers since the 2008 bailout.
    2) All the bailout money was repaid in full by the major banks (in 2009), plus significant dividends that represent profit to the U.S. taxpayers.

    Bet you didn't know that, huh?

    1. Anonymous21.5.13

      Both of these statements are absolutely false.

    2. Anonymous26.5.15

      Most if not all the money was indeed paid back. Here is the source: What is your source to claim the opposite?

  3. Anonymous7.11.11

    It looks like a March Madness Bracket.

  4. Anonymous7.11.11

    At commenter #2:

    The chart documents the mergers by year. Did you even look?

    How stupid can you get? Come on, impress me.

  5. Anonymous7.11.11

    I don't/haven't used any of the banks on here. I have no use for the large banks. I use a small bank that actually values their customers, and the rest of my family uses a credit union. There are plenty of smaller institutions that people can give their money to.

    I say "do so." Bring these banks down by shrinking their customer base and swelling their smaller, hitherto unnoticed, competitors. They want to think they are the only ones left, show them they are wrong.


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