In the heady and panicked months following the financial crash of 2008, the US government bailed out a handful of the United States’ biggest financial institutions. Among those were the investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which together received bailouts and loans totaling over $100 billion.
Among the terms of the bailout was that they both become bank holding companies, which meant they had the authority to own banks. While this may seem like an expansion of influence, the move has actually placed the previously independent investment banks under new regulation and supervision. It also opened the door for the companies to enter further into consumer lending than they could have as traditional investment banks.