The FSB has designated 29 of them, and required them to hold extra capital. It means that there are too big to fail, probably, but perhaps regulators are devising careful resolution plans for them as we speak. At any rate, here's how big you have to be to be a Global Systemically Important Financial Institution:
Bank of America, Bank of China, Bank of New York Mellon, Banque Populaire CdE, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Dexia, Goldman Sachs Group, Crédit Agricole, HSBC, ING Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Lloyds Banking Group, Mitsubishi UFJ FG, Mizuho FG, Morgan Stanley, Nordea, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Société Générale, State Street, Sumitomo Mitsui FG, UBS, Unicredit Group, Wells Fargo.
The American representatives are the not particularly huge investment banks, the really huge retail banks, and BONY and State Street, which aren't huge at all. Still, I've heard Rodgin Cohen say that the payment systems role that SS plays makes it the picture perfect definition of "too interconnected to fail," and the same probably goes for BONY. Still, they are a fraction the size of some of the Chinese banks that don't make the list, and you have to wonder if some much smaller institutions wouldn't also threaten the global financial system if they collapsed. Capital One? Allianz? The G-SIFI list hopefully won't be the only list that American regulators on the Financinal Stability Oversight Council consult when they come up with their own, domestic list.
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