Comments of the Year

We revisit some of the best comments readers posted to AmericanBanker.com and BankThink.com in 2012.

On how banks can reinvent themselves: On how banks can reinvent themselves:

"Consumers have long trusted banks to hold their money, so why not trust them to hold other information as well — a digital safe deposit box."

Related article: Banks Will End Up Obsolete as Silent-Film Stars, Unless …

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On finding the optimal scale: On finding the optimal scale:

"I never met a bank CEO who thought his company was big enough."

Related article: How Big Should a Bank Be?

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On the romanticizing of Glass-Steagall: On the romanticizing of Glass-Steagall:

"Those who argue that Glass-Steagall should be reinstated because the nation prospered when it was in effect forget or didn't learn the post hoc fallacy. Because A happens and then B happens does not establish or show in any way that A caused B. Actual cause and effect must be shown. How many standalone banks failed during that period?

Related Article: Stop Romanticizing Glass-Steagall

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On why requiring big banks to compartmentalize themselves would do no good: On why requiring big banks to compartmentalize themselves would do no good:

"Putting the cookies in the cupboard never keeps the kids out of them … cookies kept at another house, now that works."

Related article: Make Megabanks Compartmentalize Themselves. The Rest's Up to Them

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On delays in implementing Dodd-Frank: On delays in implementing Dodd-Frank:

"Debates over issues like Basel III, Volcker Rule and living wills are all diversions in which bank lobbyists seek to exhaust reformers from making any changes that might restrict the megabanks' ability to pillage the global financial markets."

Related article: Fed's Tarullo: Risk of 'Too Big to Fail' Rises Without Dodd-Frank

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On the regulatory burden for small banks: On the regulatory burden for small banks:

"Even though community banks are excluded by size from much of Dodd-Frank, they will still be expected to meet most all of the same standards, limitations and requirements of the bigger banks."

Related article: 'Compliance Is All I Do Now': Community Banks Press Congress for Regulatory Relief

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On whether Washington is trying to eliminate community banks: On whether Washington is trying to eliminate community banks:

"We welcome our megabank overlords. After all, we paid for them."

Related article: Why Washington Wants Community Banks Out of the Way

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On dealing with Dodd-Frank: On dealing with Dodd-Frank:

"Let's get on the other side of this and start representing our cause. We need relief from Dodd-Frank, not [a] prophecy of doom."

Related article: Thanks to Dodd-Frank, Community Banks Are Too Small to Survive

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On the CFPB's Public Complaint Database: On the CFPB's Public Complaint Database:

"This process as now defined reminds me of a trial where the plaintiff (complainant) is allowed to say anything they want to the jury as allowed by the judge (CFPB) and the defendant (financial institution) has to go whisper their full facts to the judge but are limited in their response to the jury."

Related article: CFPB Publishes Credit Card Complaint Database Over Industry Objections

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On the CFPB's practice of bringing enforcement attorneys to bank exams: On the CFPB's practice of bringing enforcement attorneys to bank exams:

"How would you feel if you were a patient in the hospital and your Doctor showed up with the undertaker?"

Related article: How Specter of Regulatory Capture Shaped CFPB's First Year

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On how the CFPB can promote financial innovation: On how the CFPB can promote financial innovation:

"Get … out of the way. Bureaucracy is the antithesis of entrepreneurialism."

Related article: CFPB Should Create Safe Haven for Innovators

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On Elizabeth Warren's role in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:  On Elizabeth Warren's role in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

"If you don't want Dodd-Frank and [the] CFPB, conduct business in a way that doesn't make them absolutely necessary."

Related article: Elizabeth Warren's Warped Reality

(Image: Bloomberg News)

On fixing the banking industry's reputation: On fixing the banking industry's reputation:

"Propaganda campaigns will only increase the public's distrust. (Who says the oil industry repaired its image?)"

Related article: Reputation Remains Industry's No. 1 Problem — Here's How to Fix It

(Image: Bloomberg News)

On ING Bank's $619 million fine for violating economic sanctions: On ING Bank's $619 million fine for violating economic sanctions:

"Keep this enforcement action in mind when reading articles about the supposed 'high risk' of money laundering represented by check cashing outlets and prepaid cards. A $25,000 money transfer at a money center bank doesn't raise an eyebrow. Apparently, neither do multi-million dollar transfers. But, a $2,500 transfer at a check cashing locations attracts everyone's attention."

Related article: ING Bank to Pay $619 Million for OFAC Violations

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On JPMorgan Chase's trading loss: On JPMorgan Chase's trading loss:

"Rogue trading is not something that happens TO banks. It is something banks ALLOW. Doesn't matter if it's intentional or unintentional. Sgt. Schultz defense is unacceptable."

Related article: JPMorgan's Trading Loss 'Egregious, Self-Inflicted,' Dimon Says

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On the hit to Jamie Dimon's image: On the hit to Jamie Dimon's image:

"Dimon has been the confident face of a bank that has escaped the scrutiny and criticism his fellow systemically important banks have already faced. Forgive some of us from delighting in the fact that he now has to answer for many of the same weaknesses they have."

Related article: In Defense of Jamie Dimon

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On the London traders for JPMorgan's chief investment office: On the London traders for JPMorgan's chief investment office:

"We need to think long and hard about allowing offshore trading desks that do not have the same rules as domestic desks."

Related article: JPM: A Textbook Case of Risk Management Neglect

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On whether bank examiners should be required to make a lifetime commitment: On whether bank examiners should be required to make a lifetime commitment:

"You would not ask an intern at a hospital to make a commitment never to go into private practice."

Related article: Should Bank Examiners Have to Make a Lifetime Commitment?

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On two former Wamu executives eyeing a return to mortgage lending: On two former Wamu executives eyeing a return to mortgage lending:

"If you could rob a convenience store of $1,000 and, when you were caught, get away with an apology and paying $100, would you do it again?"

Related article: Former Wamu Execs Eye Return to Mortgage Lending

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On StanChart's $340 million money-laundering settlement: On StanChart's $340 million money-laundering settlement:

"The resolution of this affair strikes me as a variant of the TBTF thinking regulators seem unable to shake. Smaller players would never get the chance to pay their way out of a mess half as ugly."

Related article: Standard Chartered Pays $340M to End Enforcement Showdown

(Image: Bloomberg News)

On Libor-rigging: On Libor-rigging:

"Self-regulation is an oxymoron, and those who think not are simply oxymorons sans 'oxy'."

Related article: Libor Rigging Predictable, Inevitable

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On the reach of social media: On the reach of social media:

"I read this article as a result of a Twitter feed."

Related article: Social Media Tools Help Banks Discover, Recruit Talent

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We revisit some of the best comments readers posted to AmericanBanker.com and BankThink.com in 2012.

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