WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he will introduce legislation to break up Wall Street megabanks that are using a bill before the Senate today to put taxpayers on the hook for the banks’ risky investments.
Sanders outlined the proposal as the Senate, in a rare Saturday session, prepared to take up a House-passed bill that would roll back a law limiting risky investments like those that caused the financial crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed.
“Over the last several days, it has become abundantly clear that Congress does not regulate Wall Street but Wall Street regulates Congress. If Wall Street lobbyists can literally write a provision into law that will allow too-big-to-fail banks to make the same risky bets that nearly destroyed our economy just a few years ago, it should be obvious to all that their incredible economic and political power is a huge danger to our economy and our way of life,” Sanders said.
Lobbyists for Citigroup drafted the measure and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon reportedly called congressmen to lobby for the provision that would gut a key provision of Dodd-Frank, the Wall Street reform law passed in 2010.
“Enough is enough,” Sanders said. “Today, almost all of the too-big-to-fail banks are bigger and even more powerful than they were before we bailed them out. The six largest financial institutions have over $9.8 trillion in assets — the equivalent of more than 60 percent of GDP. They issue over half of the mortgages and more than two-thirds of the credit cards in America.
“If Congress cannot regulate Wall Street, there is just one alternative. It is time to break these too-big-to-fail banks up so that they can never again destroy the jobs, homes, and life savings of the American people.
“At the beginning of the new Congress, I will be introducing legislation that will break these behemoth banks up once and for all. If a financial institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. I look forward to working with both progressive and conservative Senators who have the courage to stand up to Wall Street and protect the working families of this country,” Sanders said.
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