Bernie Sanders bashes too-big-to-fail banks
In a recent speech, Bernie Sanders unapologetically bashed the too-big-too-fail banks. He’s a rare breed: an honest politician.
I recently wrote that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States due to his populist appeal. However, for people like me who really want to see the too-big-to-fail banks crushed to rubble, Bernie Sanders is a more appealing alternative to Donald Trump.
When Donald Trump blusters, everyone knows it’s just red meat supplied to augment the bread and circuses campaign to win the Republican nomination. Nobody really knows what Donald Trump believes or what he would do if elected President. On the other hand, Bernie Sanders means what he says, and he says he wants to break up the too-big-to-fail banks.
Vows to break up Wall Street’s biggest banks; sweeping reform of credit ratings agencies
January 5, 2016, Ben Lane
It’s not exactly a stretch to say that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, is not the biggest fan of Wall Street.
The Democratic Presidential hopeful recently castigated the Federal Reserve, its decision-making, its policies, and its sheer existence in a scathing editorial published by the New York Times. …
His editorial details the problem of regulatory capture where the interests of bankers is now put ahead of the interests of everyone else, a worthy read.
Sanders said “if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.”According to Sanders, in his first 100 days as President, he would order the secretary of the Treasury Department to establish a “too big to fail” list of “commercial banks, shadow banks and insurance companies whose failure would pose a catastrophic risk to the United States economy without a taxpayer bailout.”
After establishing that list, Sander said that his administration would “break up” those financial institutions “so that they no longer pose a grave threat” to the country’s economy.
He probably couldn’t do it legally, but the idea of the too-big-to-fail banks in the crosshairs of an angry president makes me giddy.
“Greed, fraud, dishonesty and arrogance, these are the words that best describe the reality of Wall Street today,” Sanders said.
“So, to those on Wall Street who may be listening today, let me be very clear,” Sanders continued. “Greed is not good. In fact, the greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the fabric of our nation. And, here is a New Year’s Resolution that I will keep if elected president. If you do not end your greed, we will end it for you.” …
~~ Thunderous applause in my mind ~~
“We will no longer tolerate an economy and a political system that has been rigged by Wall Street to benefit the wealthiest Americans in this country at the expense of everyone else,” Sanders said.
“Dodd-Frank should have broken up Citigroup and other ‘too big to fail’ banks into pieces,” Sanders said. “And that’s exactly what we need to do. And that’s what I commit to do as president.”
I believe his statement is a deeply-held conviction. Don’t you?
Sanders said that in 2008, the U.S. taxpayers bailed out Wall Street because they were told they were “too big to fail.”
But, according to Sanders, today, three out of the four largest financial institutions (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo) are nearly 80% bigger than before “we bailed them out.”
According to Sanders, the six largest banks in this country issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards and more than 35% of all mortgages. Sanders said that those six banks control more than 95% of all financial derivatives and hold more than 40% of all bank deposits.
“Their assets are equivalent to nearly 60% of our GDP,” Sanders said. “Enough is enough.
“If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist,” Sanders said. “When it comes to Wall Street reform that must be our bottom line. This is true not just from a risk perspective and the fear of another bailout. It is also true from the reality that a handful of huge financial institutions simply have too much economic and political power over this country.”
Does anyone dispute any of those facts?
Do those facts bother you as much as they bother me?
In Sanders’ mind, the federal government failed in the aftermath of the crisis, and he said he has plans to fix that.
“Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself, gambling trillions in risky financial instruments, making huge profits and assured that, if their schemes fail, the taxpayers will be there to bail them out,” Sanders said.
“The reality is that Congress doesn’t regulate Wall Street,” Sanders said. “Wall Street, its lobbyists and their billions of dollars regulate Congress. We must change that reality, and as president I will.”
Our government is a subsidiary of a coalition of Wall Street banks. What Sanders describes is fairly accurate.
In the aftermath of the financial debacle, a disaster created by Wall Street, lobbyists for the too-big-to-fail banks secured unprecedented relief packages while everyone else suffered. The residual anger from this injustice drives the populist fervor today.
Sanders said under his administration, the banks will not only be held responsible for their actions, but the executives that lead those banks will also be held responsible.
“Not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near collapse of our entire economy,” Sanders said.
“That will change under my administration. ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ will not just be words engraved on the entrance of the Supreme Court,” Sanders said.
“It will be the standard that applies to Wall Street and all Americans,” Sanders continued. “Under my administration, Wall Street CEOs will no longer receive a get-out-of jail free card. Big banks will not be too big to fail. Big bankers will not be too big to jail.” …
Lock ’em up and throw away the keys!
“Yes. Wall Street has enormous economic and political power. Yes. Wall Street makes huge campaign contributions, they have thousands of lobbyists and they provide very generous speaking fees to those who go before them,” Sanders said.“Yes. They have an endless supply of money. But we have something they don’t have. And that is that when millions of working families stand together, demanding fundamental changes in our financial system, we have the power to bring about that change,” Sanders continued.
“Yes, we can make our economy work for all Americans, not just a handful of wealthy speculators. And, now more than ever, that is exactly what we must do,” Sanders said.
“And so my message to you today is straightforward: If elected president, I will rein in Wall Street so they can’t crash our economy again,” Sanders said.
“Will they like me? No,” Sanders concluded. “Will they begin to play by the rules if I’m president? You better believe it.”
You say you want to break up the too-big-to-fail banks, Bernie?
You had me at hello.
Hillary’s positions are more politically realistic and more mainstream, which is why she will likely win the nomination and perhaps the Presidency. However, Bernie’s idealism is appealing to many.
I still believe that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States, but don’t underestimate the grass-roots power of a populist candidate like Bernie Sanders. If Hillary recognizes the importance of his appeal, she will probably ask him to be her running mate. They would be a formidable team.