Looks like we might be seeing some movement to stop Too Big to Fail for real, or we might just see some politickin' instead. Bloomberg is reporting:
Senate Democrats likely will scrap a proposal for a $50 billion fund to wind down big failing companies in an effort to draw Republican support for financial- overhaul legislation being considered later this week.
Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both Maine Republicans who are seen as potential supporters of the bill, told reporters yesterday they oppose the fund. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Collins that the Obama administration also is lukewarm to the idea.
This is the Resolution Trust Authority, or the Federal Reserve overseeing financial institutions worth $50 billion or more, a special two-tier system. See this overview post on what is in the Dodd Dud, Senate Financial Reform bill. Additionally, see this piece for an overview on potential derivatives reforms.
The fact is these large banks which pose a systemic risk to the global and U.S. economy plain need to be broken up. As Senator Bernie Sanders said, if banks are too big to fail then they are too big to exist.
While the $50 billion, used by the FDIC to resolve failed large institutions isn't there, what difference does it make if financial reform does not remove systemic financial risk?
According to Senator Sanders, it appears an army of lobbyists have swarmed the hill like locusts, eating any shred of national interest and integrity in sight.
In the Senate floor speech Tuesday, Sanders urged Congress to stand up to the big-money interests on Wall Street, which amassed more than 1,500 lobbyists, executives, bankers and others to influence a Wednesday committee vote on financial reform, according to The New York Times. "With so much money at stake, it is not surprising that more than 1,500 lobbyists, executives, bankers and others have made their way to the Senate committee that on Wednesday will take up legislation to rein in derivatives,” Sanders said. “The issue that we are debating now is not whether Congress will regulate Wall Street. It is whether or not Congress will continue to be regulated by Wall Street. Their power is extraordinary. Their money is unlimited. And if there was ever a time in American history where the Senate has got to start standing up to big-money interests and represent the needs of ordinary Americans, this is the time.”
Sanders also called for the break up of "too big to fail" financial institutions. “We have got to break up the huge financial institutions which are the cause of the crisis that we're in and which exert so much power over our economy,” Sanders said. “The four major U.S. banks: Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, issue two-thirds of the credit cards in this country, write half of the mortgages and collectively hold $7.4 trillion in assets, about 52 percent of the nation's estimated total output last year.
“Despite the fact that we bailed these banks out because they were too big to fail, incredibly, three out of four of these institutions are now larger today than they were when we bailed them out. Enough is enough.”