First, a quick housekeeping note: About a month ago, I got a call out of the blue from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who's one of my favorite people and something of a political hero of mine. Bernie helped me many years ago, back when he was still a congressman, by letting me tag along for weeks for a story about how the House works that ultimately was called "Four Amendments and a Funeral" – an experience that taught me an enormous amount about how our government operates, and also in a weird way left me less cynical, as it showed there were still plenty of avenues where a determined individual could work the system.
In any case, Bernie a month or so ago asked me to join him in Vermont for a pair of town meetings on Wall Street issues. It's a tremendous honor and both events will be happening next Friday, one at the University of Vermont in the afternoon, the second in downtown Burlington in the evening. Entitled "Taking on Wall Street and the Big Banks," Bernie and I will join in a public discussion about a lot of things, including the power of the financial sector and what can be done about it. It's a very cool thing and I'm really looking forward to it – if you live in the area, please come by.
I mention this as a backdrop to some news I didn't get a chance to post last week. Since part of the Sanders discussion is going to be about "What we can do about it," it's worth noting that at least as far as the Too Big to Fail issue is concerned, there's been a bit of an interesting development of late – some momentum is building in Washington toward reforming the banks.
Start with the most recent news: last week, Sanders announced plans to introduce an interesting new bill, one that's a direct response to comments made recently by the likes of Eric Holder about the difficulty in prosecuting big banks. Holder said some institutions have grown so large that prosecuting its executives may have a "negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy."