The battle between the banks and nation states is shaping up as something that lies between a phony war and a rout.

The bald facts are that three years after the crisis in which banking almost brought down the global economy, the biggest banks are bigger, more global and more entrenched in their positions courtesy of a now all-but-explicit government guarantee.

All three factors make large banks harder for individual nations to control, even the U.S., and even if the U.S. manifested the desire to pull out of its heads-you-win-tails-we-lose bargain.

“Too big to fail (banks) really creates a capture problem … They are now larger than single nations,” Andrew Sheng, chief adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission said on Saturday at a conference at Bretton Woods sponsored by the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

“The top 25 banks comprise 73 of global GDP and 45 percent of total assets of the banking system … They are so powerful they are essentially Godzillas.”