Plenty of banks are open to selling themselves, but there’s so far a lack of well-capitalized buyers. There are stable national players, such as Bank of America (BAC), JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) that are already digesting acquisitions. A second group of super-regional banks are in a position to take over competitors, but are struggling to complete deals.

But by offering favorable rates to these banks, the government might give them a hand at expanding.

If and when these mergers come down, we could continue to see shifts in the indexes that underlie ETFs such as the SPDR Select Sector Financial (XLF), which is down 42.8% year-to-date.