Last Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) fired a shot across Wall Street’s bow and announced his plans to introduce tough new legislation that would break up our “too-big-to-fail” banks, according to Ramsey Cox’s report for The Hill:
“In other words, we have a situation now where Wall Street banks are not only too big to fail, they are too big to jail. That is unacceptable and that has got to change because America is based on a system of law and justice.”
The septuagenarian socialist senator from Vermont explained that his bill would give Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew 90 days to make a list of financial institutions — banks, hedge funds and insurance companies — that he believes are “too big to fail,” and one year to break up all of the financial institutions on the list. Sanders’ bill was in response to our supine Attorney General Eric Holder’s pathetic testimony about the big banks before the Senate Judiciary Committee in early March.
According to Robert Oak from The Economic Populist, Holder finally admitted what many of us have suspected all along: that Holder “cannot prosecute the big banks because that would endanger the global economy.” Oak recorded Holder’s testimony as follows:
I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.
“This is an admission the world is run by the banks and not governments or the rule of law,” Oak snorted so contemptuously this writer was required to wipe gobs of snot and spittle from her computer screen.
Since nobody in the main stream media even bothered to report on this vile travesty of justice (perhaps American journalists are so jaded it hasn’t occurred to them that some of us may consider this to be important news), Sanders resorted to posting his disgusted response on one of those Huffington Post blog pages for the all the C-list writers they don’t pay:
“I was stunned when our country’s top law enforcement official recently suggested it might be difficult to prosecute financial institutions that commit crimes because it may destabilize the financial system of our country and the world. The attorney general’s troubling acknowledgement has revived interest in an idea that is drawing more and more support. It is time to break up too big to fail financial institutions.”
Sanders also writes that the 10 largest banks are even bigger than they were during the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bailouts:
“… the six largest financial institutions in this country (J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) today have assets of nearly $9.6 trillion, a figure equal to about two-thirds of the nation’s gross domestic product. These six financial institutions issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards, over half of all mortgages, control 95 percent of all derivatives held in financial institutions and hold more than 40 percent of all bank deposits in the United States.”
Despite Sanders’ avowed “Democratic Socialism,” his proposed legislation has a few heavy-hitting supporters from the banking world, including: Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, and Former Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas Hoenig. And of course his colleague, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — who originally coined the term “too big to jail” while skewering Federal banking regulators during her celebrated Senate Banking Committee hearing on February 15th — seems likely to support Sanders’ “Too Big To Fail” bill.
While we’re waiting for Sanders’ tough, new anti-bank legislation, we can sign his petition to the Treasury Secretary requesting that he break up the big banks. Although it’s still addressed to Timothy Geithner, Jack Lew will still probably get them.
Here’s the video with Sanders’ appalled reaction to Holder’s testimony:
|Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, “like” her on facebook, “friend” her on facebook, follow her on Twitter, or check out her Pinterest boards. For more Addicting Info articles by Elisabeth, click here.|