The "too-big-to-fail" banks that thought they were special are starting to realize that bailout proceeds were just fattening them up for eventual slaughter.

Shares of the major banks took a hit after President Obama discussed stiff regulations for the industry's beefiest players. Shares of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) suffered declines of better than 5% on Thursday alone.

Where will this end? Will we be down to breaking up Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) in Ma Bell fashion? Will Bank of America eventually become 50 banks of individual states? I'm kidding -- I hope -- but there was also a time when we figured that company pay practices would be accountable only to shareowners.

Now that the government has stakes in everything from disgraced banks to lagging automakers, accountability has taken on a public urgency. It's a hungry and bloodthirsty mob out there, and the fat banks are looking delicious, with apples in their mouths as they rotate on the spit.

Regardless of where you stand on these matters, politically speaking, it's getting hard to bank on banks until the dust settles.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is suing TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) WFMI), claiming that the DVR pioneer is infringing on the software giant's patents. Isn't TiVo usually the company suing others for trampling on its intellectual properties?
  • The markets may have rallied during the final few months of 2009, but this doesn't mean that traders were trading. TD AMERITRADE (NASDAQ:AMTD) and Charles Schwab (NASDAQ:SCHW) both posted year-over-year quarterly profit declines this week.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

Schwab is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor choice. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for TiVo. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.