Recouping bailout costs by imposing a tax on banks is one thing, but the Obama administration's latest proposal would fundamentally alter the business of banking.

On Thursday, President Obama said banks are too big and too concentrated, and he asked Congress to bar banking companies from proprietary trading and from working with hedge funds or private-equity firms. The president also proposed curbing growth by imposing a hard cap on any one banking company's share of the market for nondeposit liabilities.

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