The bigger you are, the more money you have, the more lobbyists you hire, the more campaign donations you give, the more revolving doors you grease, the more power you have to get bigger and threaten to bring the whole house of cards tumbling down with you.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.