Washington policymakers have spent a lot of time lately trying to figure out how to handle banks so critical to the U.S. economy they’re “too big to fail.”
Yet they’ve ignored the biggest financial institution of all: the U.S. government.
If counted as such, the U.S. government would dwarf every other bank on the planet. Its present-day obligations total more than $18 trillion, according to Deborah Lucas, an economist who worked recently at the Congressional Budget Office and is now a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Her tally includes federally backed deposit insurance, mortgage, pension and student-loan guarantees, and hundreds of other government credit programs. It does not, however, include the $17 trillion national debt or future liabilities for entitlement programs such as Social Security.Read More »from The One Huge Bank That’s Truly Too Big to Fail