Big banks will not die peacefully


Banks do a pretty poor job of imagining their own deaths.

Yesterday, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve confirmed as much when they rejected the resolution plans, or so-called “living wills,” of every single one of the 11 mega-banks that submitted their plans. Other banks, like Wells Fargo, haven’t received rejections just yet, but that’s because the FDIC and the Fed say they haven’t gotten around to it yet. So, Wells, you might as well start rewriting now.

The living wills were an odd exercise from the start. I, for one, try my best to imagine drifting off at 90 in my sleep; not, for example, burning alive trapped in a car. I have done very little to prepare for the trapped car scenario. But after making it through the financial crisis, the living wills the banks submitted come across as delusional.

JPMorgan Chase [fortune-stock symbol=”JPM”], for instance, assumes that…

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