The big banks that played such a key role in the Great Recession are a hazard to the health of our country and need to busted up into smaller, regional entities.

We in the country are in the midst of a multiyear recovery from a 'Made in America' financial mess up. We borrowed like crazy because the banks were willing to lend, and then they pretty much all went insolvent. In the aftermath, we suffered mightily with massive unemployment, dislocation, businesses closing, personal bankruptcy, you name it. Then we hit a wall as a nation.

But not the big banks! They just went to their buddies in Washington and got trillions of dollars in bailout money. Now the five biggest banks control roughly half of all the banking action in the U.S. All are truly 'Too Big To Fail' and if they fail again, you and I will be there bailing out the pigs at the trough.

It is wrong, it shouldn't happen, and we shouldn't have this much power in the hands of five behemoths.

The banks have been resistant to getting smaller, claiming they've learned their lesson and won't make any more mistakes. But just look at what happened with Chase and its $2 billion in losses through foolish high-risk trades. After denying it at first, the bank had to come out all red-faced and fess up to what happened.

The challenge we face as a country is breaking up these big banks. The banks are harmful to our country and to our citizens. They're putting sand in the gears of American small business too. Imagine if you're entrepreneur looking for funding for a new business idea. They'll laugh you out the door at a big bank.

So we have to do our part and do what we can. If you're still doing business with a big bank, kick them to the curb! Do business instead with smaller local community banks or credit unions.

Editor's note: Today's broadcast originated from Janesville, Wisc., during a special Town Hall forum on economic recovery.  Special thanks to affiliate WCLO-AM 1230 for sponsoring the event.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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