Unlike European and Asian banks—whose roles and function in the world have traditionally been closely linked to the nations whose interest they serve—American banks are private organization that pursue their own interests and make no pretense of advancing nationalist interests—other than in acknowledging the essential role of banking to the functioning of the private economy. Accordingly, America has far more banks and resolution systems that presume that banks will fail as a matter of course. Or as Paul Ryan noted as his preamble to the comment above, “We should make sure you can’t get too big where you’re going to become too big to fail and trigger a bailout, and if you take risky behavior then you go into bankruptcy and we open up the bankruptcy laws to allow them to go into bankruptcy.”
As bad as the LIBOR scandal has been, the HSBC and Standard Chartered revelations are in their way deeper indictments of the state of international banking. HSBC and Standard Chartered are culturally rooted in the British Empire. As created by Queen Victoria, they were not simply institutions regulated by the state, but were arms of the state, chartered as essential tools of state policy.