Daily Dispatches: Big Four are just so valuable

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The latest market capitalisation league ladders that appeared in the weekend papers provide a stunning example of big bank power in Australia. Here's the top five:

BHP Billiton: $128bn (excludes UK shares)

Westpac: $73.72bn

CBA: $72.78bn

NAB: $58.68bn

ANZ: $52.99bn

No other country in the world has four domestic banks in their top five most valuable companies and never before have our big four banks all been in the top five with market capitalisations each exceeding $50bn. (Business Day)

Steve Targett came to ANZ with a strong international banking pedigree and hopes of becoming the bank's next chief executive. Instead, the career banker left the institution just three years later with his reputation shredded and his corporate career in Australia virtually finished. (The Australian)

CBA chief Ralph Norris says expenses from bad debts are likely to stabilise or improve during the year ahead, and his company is keeping a lookout for acquisitions. (Herald Sun)

Six of Australia's nine main banks have tightened the amount of money they will lend to first home buyers in response to claims that the Federal Government's cash handouts to the housing market are causing a bubble in prices. (WA Today)

Daily Dispatches is taking a short mid-week break and will return on Thursday.

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