Senator Sanders Introduces Bill to Break Up the Too Big to Fails

As Reuters notes:

An independent U.S. senator on Friday introduced a bill that would give the government the power to identify and break up financial firms that are “too big to fail,” an idea that is catching on.

“If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist,” said Senator Bernie Sanders in a statement.

“We should break them up so they are no longer in a position to bring down the entire economy,” he said.

Sanders is an independent outside the U.S. political mainstream. But he is not the only one looking at break-ups.

Representative Paul Kanjorski, the Democratic chairman of the capital markets subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives, is working on a break-up power amendment.

It would give a new government systemic risk council break-up power, with clearance from the president.

“It’s the natural action of capital to grow and exceed. Now we’re going to contain it,” Kanjorski told CNBC television.

For background on the too big to fail issue, see this, this and this.

Sanders’ legislation would give the Secretary of the Treasury ultimate decision-making power:

Sanders’ legislation would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner 90 days to list commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurers that he deems too big to fail.

That wouldn’t be so bad if Obama fires Geithner and replaces him with someone independent of Wall Street.

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