The 2008 bailout is often taken as evidence of the domination of the US political system by large financial institutions. In fact, the bailout demonstrated the vulnerability of US banks to government pressure. Large banks in the United States could not defy regulators, because their future income depended on the US market. In Britain, by contrast, one bank succeeded in scuttling the preferred governmental solution of an industry-wide recapitalization, because most of its revenue came from outside the United Kingdom. This was an exercise of structural power, but one that most contemporary scholarship on business power ignores or misclassifies, since it limits structural power to the automatic adjustment of policy to the possibility of disinvestment. We show that structural power can be exercised strategically, that it is distinct from instrumental power based on lobbying, and that it explains consequential variations in bailout design in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Germany.