There is no real money left in the original $700 bn TARP facility - somewhere between $ 100 bn and 150 bn - to do more than stabilize a couple of pawn shops. The Treasury has been playing for time by raiding the resources of the FDIC (which, apart from the meagre insurance premiums it collects, has no resources other than what the Treasury grants it) and of the Fed. The Fed has taken an open position in private credit risk to the tune of many hundreds of billions of dollars. Before this crisis is over, its exposure to private sector default risk could be counted in trillions of dollars.
There is no economic reason for large banks. Therefore banks should be kept small. An obvious mechanism (apart from aggressive anti-trust policy) is to tax bank size. One way to do this is through making regulatory capital requirements increasing in the size of the bank’s activities. For instance, tier one capital as a share of (unweighted) assets could be made an increasing function of the value of the assets.
Full article: http://blogs.ft.com/maverecon/2009/04/ruminations-on-banking/