Sen. Bernie Sanders is taking on Wall Street directly with a new bill that would break up the nation’s “too big to fail” banks.
At a press conference announcing the bill, Sen. Sanders said:
No single financial institution should be so large that its failure would cause catastrophic risk to millions of Americans or to our nation’s economic well-being. No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure would send the world economy into crisis. If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist and that is the bottom line.
If the American people are wondering why tens of millions of Americans are being charged interest rates of more than 20 percent on their credit cards, while big banks can receive virtually zero interest loans from the Federal Reserve, the lack of competition in the banking industry is a major reason for that.
If Teddy Roosevelt were alive today, do you know what he would say? He would say break ’em up. And he would be right.
And that’s exactly why we are here today.
The bill that I am introducing today with Congressman Brad Sherman would require regulators at the Financial Stability Oversight Council to establish “Too Big To Fail” list of financial institutions and other huge entities whose failure would pose a catastrophic risk on the United States economy without a taxpayer bailout.
This list must include, but is not limited to JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley.
Importantly, under this bill, none of the institutions on the “Too Big to Fail list” would be able to receive a taxpayer bailout from the Federal Reserve; nor could they gamble with the federally insured bank deposits of the American people while they are on this list.
The function of banking should be to provide affordable loans to small businesses to create jobs in the productive economy. The function of banking should be to provide affordable loans to Americans to purchase homes and cars. Wall Street cannot be an island onto itself.
It is an exciting time on the left. Hillary Clinton has taken a bold and very liberal position on immigration reform while her opponent for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has filed legislation that will break up the Big Banks. While Republicans are trying to avoid any of the discussions that matter to a vast majority of Americans, the candidates for the Democratic nomination are making it clear what they think the future of the country should look like.
Sen. Sanders has already taken on the Koch brothers; now he is going after Congress’s other sacred big fish, Wall Street.
The left is on the march, and the billionaires and corporations are in for a fight.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association