Yes, you can't even buy McDonalds snackwrap with a share of Citi stock.
Have our largest commercial banks really "failed?" Failed, in the Depression-era sense?
Clearly, they have not. Commercial banks are no longer the same as they were in FDR's era.
In fact, many people mistakenly identify our commercial banks as our total financial system, but nothing could be further from the truth.
First, all of these institutions have, for all practical purposes, had totally-insured deposits for decades. For several months, even their money-market funds have been federally insured, too.
The nation's financial plumbing system- clearing, settlement, electronic cash movement, etc., are separable, if necessary. Loans are made by several sorts of financial service firms, and more could enter at any time.
"Wealth management," a/k/a brokerage and money management, is a sector unto itself, even with the collapse of Merrill Lynch.
Truly, there is little, if any real economic damage from simply letting badly-run commercial banks fail.
Citigroup is, for all intents and purposes, currently a government bank. How can any administration leave Pandit & Co. in charge, when, by comparison, Chase and Wells did so much better, if not so great in absolute terms?
BofA is a wreck, too, now. Lewis has to go.
But there's no actual risk to the economy's health in closing Citigroup and BofA. If anything, as Anna Schwartz noted, that would leave fewer, healthier banks, and opportunities for capital to move into the sector, should it require more lending capacity.
But with two of the largest US commercial banks trading nearly as penny stocks, reflecting investor doubts about the true, intrinsic values of their assets, it's ridiculous to keep them open.
Let's get the thing done, close or nationalize Citi and BofA, bring in new management, and get on with modifying mark-to-market rules to allow for economic valuation.