The Big Picture

Vincent Boland: The fact that banks fail is the lesson we never seem to learn

It is clear that, 15 years after the last round of major bank failures, there is no consensus on how to deal with the next failure, especially a very big one

The failure of Credit Suisse and its controversial rescue have badly damaged Switzerland’s reputation as a global financial centre

Bank failures happen with baffling, depressing and monotonous regularity. More than 560 banks have collapsed in the US since 2001, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, which guarantees the deposits of US savers. That’s one roughly every fortnight, and that’s just America.

Most of these banks were small and perhaps local institutions rather than national ones, so their demise did not pose much risk to the wider US economy or financial markets. In 2019, ...