By: Sean Ryan

With people from former Federal Reserve Chairmen Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan to former Citigroup (NYSE: C) Chairman and CEO John Reed suggesting that banks viewed as "too big to fail" should be broken up, it is worth looking at the history of government-mandated corporate breakups and the results. In doing so, two common themes emerge. First, break-ups of corporate monoliths seem to be a boon to shareholders; the sum of the parts tends to be greater than the whole. Second, break-ups tend to be undone over time, as constituent parts more