In the wake of the financial crisis, concerns about financial institutions that were “too big to fail” reached a crescendo and led to wide public outcry about regulations. That outcry ended with Dodd-Frank, a financial reform bill that tapped all of the expected players, and some unexpected ones as well.
GE, for example. Finance was always a tenuous partnership, as a drastic restructuring in the wake of the financial crisis meant GE was determined to winnow down that part of the business and get out hyper-regulated territory. As of Wednesday the refashioning had been notable enough so that the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council made the decision, via vote, to remove the firm’s label as a “systemically important” financial operation, with stricter oversight of activities.
What does that mean by the numbers? Well …
$660 billion | GE Capital’s total assets on the balance sheet tied to finance and financial activities at its peak.
$180 billion | The amount GE has slated for removal from its balance sheet through sale of its assets.
$156 billion | The value of transactions that have already closed through those sales.
$20 billion | The amount GE is now allowed to borrow for stock buybacks.
2% | The amount GE’s shares rose on the announcement.