In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so occasionally, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
Are Financial Institutions Exempt from Antitrust Laws?
City & State:
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Question: Given the current size and concentration of financial activities in the hands of few financial institutions, wouldn't antitrust laws apply to their activities? Are financial institutions exempt from anti-trust laws?
Paul Solman: No, they're not. But remember, the government has been actively CREATING bigger institutions, merging smaller ones into them (Wachovia into Wells Fargo; Merrill Lynch and Countrywide into Bank of America; etc.).