Wells Fargo is What?

Wells Fargo is now calling itself the world’s “largest community bank” in commercials airing during the Olympics. So does that mean that Wells Fargo is suddenly NOT “too-big-to-fail”? That it has joined the ranks of the “too-small-to-save”? Don’t make me laugh.

Wall Street mega firms better be careful what they call themselves lest they be confused with actual community banks that regulators allow to fail on a weekly basis and whose investors are totally wiped out.

Until someone tells me that the U.S. government will let Wells Fargo fail and all its shareholders totally wiped out, then Wells Fargo does not deserve the moniker “community bank.” It is an insult to REAL community banks.

You can’t call yourself a community bank unless you actually are subject to free-market forces and are allowed to succeed or fail based on your own merit. Like so many Wall Street mega firms, Wells Fargo wants it both ways—100 percent government protection AND the perception that it is a community bank.

Never confuse Main Street with Wall Street.

2 thoughts on “Wells Fargo is What?

  1. With all due respect your putting a very inaccurate spin on this. Wells very publicly did not want to but was forced into participating in the TARP. Plus, they have now paid it back with dividens to the Treasury.

    Not really fair either to lump them in with “Wall Street mega firms”, they actually don’t have much in common at all with AIG or Goldman Sachs.

    Further, they are subject to market forces as told by their stock price.

    I’m all for community banks, if they focus on what they do well they should prosper. Flinging mud and painting others with a broad brush is not constructive.

  2. I used to work for Wells Fargo Bank, fka Norwest Bank, fka Northwestern National Bank. There was a time when we truly were a “community” bank making local decisions and helping the businesses and people in our communities. However; today, 2010, (at least in my community), Wells Fargo is not a community bank. Sorry Wells Fargo, that moniker was lost somewhere between “Athena” and your direct dail phone number: 1-800-GET-LOST!

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