Morgan Stanley-E*Trade Merger Threatens Consumers & Economy

September 30, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement after the Federal Reserve Board announced that it had approved Morgan Stanley’s acquisition of E*Trade Financial Corporation:

“By continuing its 14-year streak of failing to deny a single bank merger, the Fed is once again handing even more control over people’s retirement savings and investments to one of Wall Street’s biggest banks,” said Graham Steele, Senior Fellow at American Economic Liberties Project. “Today’s action will further concentrate the economic power of a handful of financial behemoths, and one way or another, the public will ultimately pay the price.”

In July, the American Economic Liberties Project, Demand Progress Education Fund, Income Movement, and Public Citizen sent a letter to sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell encouraging him to reject Morgan Stanley’s proposed acquisition of E*Trade Financial Corporation for reasons related to financial stability, competition, and general compliance failures.

The Morgan Stanley-E*Trade merger will make an already “Too Big To Fail” bank even bigger. Morgan Stanley will control a greater share of the wealth management industry despite its harmful investments and its record of repeated legal violations, which harm customers and investors and prove the bank is already “too big to manage.”

Learn more about Economic Liberties here.


 Economic Liberties works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. AELP believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.