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Excerpt: "U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today he will introduce legislation to break up banks that have grown so big that the Justice Department has not pursued prosecutions for fear an indictment would harm the financial system."

Senator Bernie Sanders is interviewed by a Reuters reporter, 11/28/06. (photo: Reuters)
Senator Bernie Sanders is interviewed by a Reuters reporter, 11/28/06. (photo: Reuters)


Senator Bernie Sanders Bill Would Break Up Big Banks

By eNews Park Forest

29 March 13

 

.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today he will introduce legislation to break up banks that have grown so big that the Justice Department has not pursued prosecutions for fear an indictment would harm the financial system.

The 10 largest banks in the United States are bigger now than before a taxpayer bailout following the 2008 financial crisis. At the time Congress, over Sanders' objection, approved a $700 billion bank rescue because of concerns by some that the financial institutions were too big to fail. Another $16 trillion from the Federal Reserve propped up financial institutions.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. now says the Justice Department may not pursue criminal cases against big banks because filing charges could "have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy."

"In other words," Sanders said, "we have a situation now where Wall Street banks are not only too big to fail, they are too big to jail. That is unacceptable and that has got to change because America is based on a system of law and justice."

U.S. banks have become so big that the six largest financial institutions in this country (J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) today have assets of nearly $9.6 trillion, a figure equal to about two-thirds of the nation's gross domestic product. These six financial institutions issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards, over half of all mortgages, control 95 percent of all derivatives held in financial institutions and hold more than 40 percent of all bank deposits in the United States.

Sanders' legislation would give Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew 90 days to compile a list of commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies that he deems too big to fail. The affected financial institutions would include "any entity that has grown so large that its failure would have a catastrophic effect on the stability of either the financial system or the United States economy without substantial government assistance."

Within one year after the legislation became law, the Treasury Department would be required to break up those banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions identified by the secretary.

"If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist," Sanders said. "No single financial institution should be so large that its failure would cause catastrophic risk to millions of American jobs or to our nation's economic wellbeing. No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure could send the world economy into crisis," Sanders said. "We need to break up these institutions because they have done of the tremendous damage they have done to our economy."

 

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+108 # ER444 2013-03-29 12:24
Go Bernie. This is so obvious. Why in the worls do we always have to wait until this maverick states the obvious. Want to bet the Republicans prevent this!!??
 
 
+57 # indian weaver 2013-03-29 15:01
From what I read, I believe that both sides of the aisle are guilty of bankster policy. Banks own most congress by now. A few such as Sanders are there, a few. I believe that most of them are paid off by the big money that is not in our interest. Seems to me, they work for the banks which now own the government, defined politically as a "Fascist" state. Banks and Wehrmacht now rule. We are the pawns until it hurts too much and then social unrest leading to Syria in our backyard, could be decades away yet. We are a big money big war company from now on. C'est la vie.
 
 
+26 # in deo veritas 2013-03-30 05:42
Decades away yet? We do not have that long. If action is not taken and soon we are finished.
It is obvious that the sheeple are to blame as well. Why the hell do they not pull their money out of these banks and go to the credit unions and smaller banks? Why do they not get rid of their credit cards? Are we a masochistic public? Looks like it!
 
 
+3 # Depressionborn 2013-03-31 16:29
Re: indian weaver

YEP

Oil (energy) may be key.

The people who own the oil fields are the corporations. The people who own the corporations are the banks and the entity which owns the banks is the international trade cartel. We go to war to stop zero interest banking and to protect the Petro Dollar. The true enemy is only our ignorance.

The situation is that things may have gotten out of control and a perfect storm is brewing. Which is a reach I know, as they are supposed to have lots of bright young men and some super good computers; which would mean that it is all by plan???!!!
 
 
+112 # MainStreetMentor 2013-03-29 12:43
Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren are the two major positive factors in the fight against Wall Street's blatant avarice. You and I need to help them garner support for their fight by urging everyone to entice these two senators' peers - and our reps in the House - to make sure Senator Sanders bill makes it through, unchanged, the Senate. They are working for you and I - and we MUST support their efforts.
 
 
+29 # mudbike 2013-03-30 04:27
Warren for President in2016
 
 
+23 # in deo veritas 2013-03-30 05:36
Entice hell! FORCE them to support it or remove them from office, whatever it takes. Many but unfortunately not all states have recall provisions in their constitutions.I t is time to use them! Reinstitute Glass-Steagall or the USA is finished!
 
 
+37 # indian weaver 2013-03-29 12:46
I'm not holding my breath. All of the Western nations are now bailing out their banks with us customers / depositors who put money in their bank. The policy steals from citizens to save the 1% criminals / investors / bond holders. I believe that even if 4 billion citizens want the banks to pay and organized against them, they will not break up. It'd take a total collapse of the banking system for that to happen. At this point, that looks like a better option daily for the disenfranchised civilian, to wit: Cyprus (next Greece, Spain, Italy, coming soon to an American civil unrest and civil war near you). A recent article published today suggests that Cyprus is the same as the American banking system, and that Cyprus should have let its banks go bankrupt (sound familiar JP Morgan, BofA etc.?)
 
 
-103 # Depressionborn 2013-03-29 14:16
Things are really getting bad when Bernie S. and Mass nut case Warren are the only ones making sense!!!
 
 
+102 # dyannne 2013-03-29 19:53
Senator Elizabeth Warren is NOT a nut case.
 
 
+23 # Hey There 2013-03-29 20:57
Curious why you would refer to Warren as a nut case. Gave you a thumbs up for the realization that they are the ones making sense.
 
 
+23 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-03-29 21:07
To:#DEPRESSIONBORN

You write in contradictions. If as you say, "Warren is a nut case." then why in your mind is she "making sense?" Can we please have Republicans who post on this board quit pulling stuff out of their XXXX?
 
 
+26 # mdhome 2013-03-30 04:03
Not nut cases, they are the ones that are doing all they can to prevent the country from moving us into a feudal system that would make us virtual slaves.
 
 
+2 # ER444 2013-03-31 07:57
They'd better hurry!Soon it will be too late!
 
 
0 # noitall 2013-04-01 10:46
Quoting Depressionborn:
Things are really getting bad when Bernie S. and Mass nut case Warren are the only ones making sense!!!

At least this Teabagger admits that Bernie and Warren are "making sense". Amazing how an "American" can dis and call a real Patriot "nut case". But then Born depressed is a Teabagger!
 
 
+2 # Depressionborn 2013-03-29 14:27
Oops: Looks as if Cyprus forgot to make a bribe payment to big banking?

Under conditions expected to be announced on Saturday, depositors in Bank of Cyprus will get shares in the bank worth 37.5 percent of their deposits over 100,000 euros, the source told Reuters, while the rest of their deposits may never be paid back. The toughening of the terms will send a clear signal that the bailout means the end of Cyprus as a hub for offshore finance and could accelerate economic decline on the island and bring steeper job losses. Officials had previously spoken of a loss to big depositors of 30 to 40 percent.

Bernie better tread carefully.
 
 
+41 # indian weaver 2013-03-29 16:09
I believe you are wrong. The world's central banks own Cyprus. The Cyprus banking model is a copy of our own, and really is our own. That is why the little people are taking the hit instead of the bond holders and investors who lose nothing, that is until the bank goes bankrupt. This bail out by the citizens is the choice of the banking world. The failure and bankruptcy of the Cyprus' banks would show us that indeed, the Citizens have a chance there because then the banksters would lose because they wrecked it. That would be justice and fair. It won't happen. We'll pay for the government / fascist states bailing out their banks. Just like Cyprus. We are already doing that by bailing our banks in 2008. It'll happen again the same way. No changes to regulatory environment at all, but plenty to support more bank failures and "government" bail outs.
 
 
-8 # Depressionborn 2013-03-30 13:40
Re; blowhorn Bloedorn

Mass produces only nut cases. Nothing else is likely. (Bernie's slogan should be "too big not to fail".) It is not my fault he is right.

and please, contradictions are often most interesting and I am not a republican and I don't vote it only encourages them. And how do you tell the difference these days anyway???

And XXXX is not possible until you pull your head out.

I was speaking of big banking Cyprus getting behind on their "payments". The little guys always get screwed, you should know that. I agree with Indian weaver.
As far as your hatreds of repubs, if it were only that simple it would be easy to solve. Grow up.
 
 
+36 # phrixus 2013-03-29 17:11
Good friggin' luck. Most of our congressmen are owned by the banks and other financial interests. They'll kill this legislation before it draws it's first breath. DOA.
 
 
+23 # AUCHMANNOCH 2013-03-29 17:19
This should have happened in 2008 - 9 but there is no way it will happen now.
 
 
+19 # mdhome 2013-03-30 04:07
Chances are slim, but that does not mean they shouldn't try and keep trying. Someday people will wake up, I hope they don't wait too long.
 
 
-7 # in deo veritas 2013-03-30 05:31
Thank Obama for that!
 
 
+7 # kumquat 2013-03-31 12:13
Quoting in deo veritas:
Thank Obama for that!


Sure.. blame President Obama for the past 30 odd years of the Bush family enlisting and organizing religious zealots and the GOP into working to take government away from the people and GIVE it to the wealthy murdering swindlers in congress. It's not very smart to ignore history as you clearly have done.
 
 
+19 # ghostperson 2013-03-29 21:11
Go Bernie! Trust (monopoly) busting happened the last time the plutocrats went nuts. It ain't easy but playing serf to their greedy-master is wearing veeeerrrry thin. What have we got to lose by pushing for it? The worst has already happened. So its really, had enough yet?
 
 
+4 # kumquat 2013-03-31 12:28
"ghostperson" -The worst has already happened. So its really, had enough yet?

You think the worst has already happened to us? I guess you still have a job, shelter and good food on your table while millions of us are starving and hopeless as real jobs dry up in our faces. and worse.. worse is on the way and if you have not noticed the constitutionall y illegal militarization of the police who have been doing genuine physical harm to non-violent peaceful protesters. You have not noticed the Gov't has built over 800 concentration camps (no matter what they are calling them) accross the US and supplied them with thousands of coffins. Think of the most impoverished nations in the world and you will know what the elites plan for those of us they do manage to kill off. They talk about it openly.. because their plans are so far advanced they believe they can't be stopped... which is not true, but we need all of us to fight... and that means general strikes, taking over factories, boycotting, demonstrating and NEVER GIVING UP... even if you bleed... because the 99%ers gets nothing back from the oligarchs w/o shedding some of their own blood. If we don't push we lose for sure.... and that will KILL us!!!!
 
 
-3 # Depressionborn 2013-04-01 00:44
Yep, kumquat, you got it nailed.

Socialism is a killer, gun free zones are dangerous; we have traded liberty for security. Now we are losing both.

Hint: the nation is the people, the government is neither; life is not fair and the world is in a mess. And anyone writing the truth of it on rsn is likely to get redFchecked by no-nothings.

"The bigger the government the smaller the people". Get used to it. But you don't need to fight it. In fact, that is what they expect. All you need to do is learn the truth of it. Why do you think they want gun control and no voter ID and no school vouchers and high gas prices and 0 interest and goon squads?
And why are they always at war and always getting all the rsn votes?

And why do you think savings are going to disappear? I don't think we voted it!

Many books have been written about what is happening today. It has all happened before. When I mentioned the books I was ridiculed. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
 
 
+10 # dick 2013-03-29 21:12
For banksters, prison time with prison gangs would help, but Obama is Obstructing Justice, an impeachable offense.
 
 
+9 # Billsy 2013-03-29 21:12
How about we encourage our friends & families to contact our senators demanding they support this? I'm getting weary of the whining and cynicism expressed in these comment forums.
 
 
0 # RLF 2013-04-02 04:30
Your senator doesn't give a damn if you like it or not...he works for the banks and will toss your letter in the circular file.
 
 
+12 # ghostperson 2013-03-29 21:15
I think it's time for the boomers to show the younger folk what activism looks like--if we can remember it. Joking!

I have always wondered why younger folks are less liberal than my generation was abd is.

Let's brawl!
 
 
-4 # brux 2013-03-30 11:10
Because your ... our ... generation did activism so badly and ineffectively.
 
 
+3 # kumquat 2013-03-31 12:47
We killed Jim Crow, stopped the war in Vietnam, got our universities, banks and govt to divest their investments in Apartheid South Africa {similar actions in many other nations did the same} which forced SA to drop apartheid [and free Nelson Mandela] We got a LOT done and it was global like it is now. The awakening and rise of the people's resistance was easy because we all got a good education back then. We were taught exactly how this government works, what our rights are and how monopolies are the biggest enemy of democracy because it created "kings" who could buy their way into undue influence and negate our democracy. Eisenhower warned us [w/o making it clear] and JFK warned us, but made the mistake of declaring he was going to get rid of them. He was assassinated a few weeks later. We did plenty and are horrified at the lethargy and IGNORANCE of so many of the new generation; so dumbed down that when polled said the Govt' was supposed to spy on us! the opposite of what is true..very depressing for teachers like me... ugh.. and remember.. the flouride, [rat poison-read the label and see for yourself] they put in our water makes people more docile, easier to manage... you can look that up.. it's true.
 
 
-3 # Depressionborn 2013-03-31 05:55
Re: "ghostperson"]I think it's time for the boomers to show the younger folk what activism looks like-if we can remember it. Joking! I,(ghostperson) have always wondered why younger folks are less liberal than my generation was abd is.

Yes, maybe younger folk know who has the machine guns? They also may have figured out that socialism really sucks, always eventually needing machine guns.

My generation also had trouble with socialism. It is a lesson that can be painful.

But activism is not a sport. Activism must be well planned. "If you strike at the king you must kill him" Micaville, I think. (See 1983, Cox's Army)
 
 
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 12:52
Ghostperson:

"If you strike at the king you must kill him" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
 
+12 # m... 2013-03-29 21:26
Nothing says more about the need to break up the Big Banks than the now infamous, historically-fi rst statement from (Our?) U.S. Attorney General Holder...!

'SMALLER GOVERNMENT' as told, sold and unfolded by the Corporate Conservative Right, has been an unmitigated, ruinous NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL Disaster..!!

AND STILL--- It is Told (by Global Corporate Media), Sold (By the Global Corporate Right) and Unfolds (on 99.9% of Humanity like raining boulders) unabated..!
 
 
+30 # seeuingoa 2013-03-29 23:57
Franklin D. Roosevelt
in a message to Congress in 1938:

"The liberty of a democracy is in danger if the people tolerate the growth of
private power to a point, where it
becomes stronger than the democratic state itself.
That, in its essence is fascism."
 
 
+3 # indian weaver 2013-03-31 05:06
Excellent quotation. Yes we now all work for the Fascist Terrorist Regime of Amerika (the FTRA). Our company, usa, is not longer a government for The People but a company for the money, period, no matter what it takes (assassinations , torture, terrorism etc. all extremely cruel ways the company earns a living - war is money).
 
 
-1 # Depressionborn 2013-03-31 10:36
Quoting seeuingoa:
Franklin D. Roosevelt
in a message to Congress in 1938:

"The liberty of a democracy is in danger if the people tolerate the growth of
private power to a point, where it
becomes stronger than the democratic state itself.
That, in its essence is fascism."



And that, in its essence, is why we were constituted a republic.
 
 
+13 # Wolfchen 2013-03-30 00:02
This approach by Senator Sanders is an end run toward a solution. A more direct and effective approach would be to re-enact Glass-Steagall type legislation that separates the market investment functions from the savings functions of banks.
 
 
+13 # vicnada 2013-03-30 05:32
Why either or? Why not both solutions squared?
 
 
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 13:00
Quoting vicnada:
Why either or? Why not both solutions squared?


Because this congress will never pass it unless there are millions in the streets threatening to boycott or a general strike.. etc....
 
 
+10 # in deo veritas 2013-03-30 06:04
The sheeple must FORCE these shills to support HR129 to reinstate Glass-Steagall by whatever means necessary. Many states have recall provisions that can be used. Those who oppose it including Obama deserve impeachment at least. Since the Prez won't close Gitmo (another broken promise) it should be used to incarcerate the banksters.
 
 
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 13:02
Oh no... try them right here in front of us and put them in prison here where we know exactly where they are... REAL prisons, not country club prisons...
 
 
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 12:59
They will never allow that to happen unless millions of us get in the streets ans demonstrate AND boycott and stage general strikes... if you don't hit them in the money, you will have no power. The other way is legally, but since most courts were carefully placed in sensitive courts by Reagan/Bush it is almost impossible to get a fair ruling if a corporate or wealthy interest is involved...Luck ily some of these old monsters aged out or died and some judges are now ruling justly and sanely...
 
 
+12 # grouchy 2013-03-30 00:31
Love the idea if it could only be put into place! And I can already hear the panic gears starting to hum as methods to stop such a program tune up (lots of money starting to be shifted, etc.).

In the meantime we could take wagers on whether we would receive the loudest noise from whimpering or outright screaming. Either one would be music to my ears.
 
 
+7 # Wolfchen 2013-03-30 01:25
Look all around, including through a mirror, and ask a very simple though critically important question:

Who among us supports those who are economically destroying our industrial base and middle class? Are any of them underpaid, unemployed and overcharged for such items as pharmaceuticals , while the corrupted and often internationally owned corporations are deemed too big to fail so as not to be tried in criminal courts for financial crimes? Does the concept of animals biting at their own wounds ring a bell? Should those who support these corporate-Wall Street criminals and governmental facilitators experience the joy of being lifted upon their own petards?
After all, if we support crooks, it's only fair that we be among their victims.
ES
 
 
+11 # in deo veritas 2013-03-30 04:19
The solution is already opn the table in the HR! It is HR 129 to re-enact Glass-Steagall! There is motion in the Senate to do the same thing! It is not only the Repugs who will oppose it but Obama as well. He is in the pocket of the banksters as well. Without Glass-Steagall wse are indeed DOA>
 
 
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 13:05
It would be even more helpful to get rid of the patriot act and bribg back the constitution!!
 
 
+6 # Underledge 2013-03-30 04:29
Don't anyone hold their breath waiting for anything to happen. Bow to Wall Street and our new royality.
 
 
+10 # in deo veritas 2013-03-30 05:45
If they are the new royalty then lets treat them like Louis XVI and Marie were treated!
 
 
+5 # Wolfchen 2013-03-30 07:19
Oh such a titillating thought...and perhaps with such a show being served up with music and popcorn.
 
 
0 # indian weaver 2013-03-31 05:09
I'd celebrate oh-mama's beheading, along with dubya's. I've started a White House petition in very bad taste that would celebrate dubya's death worldwide. Even if the world of real humans do not organize to celebrate their deaths, I will. But, now that we have a house of fascists in Washington, I'll have to prepare for lots of celebrations.
 
 
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 13:12
indian weaver: better to let europe arrest and try jr AND cheney in the Haig where they are wanted for their very real genocidal war crimes. THEN try them and their whole colluding administreation here, in absentia, for their repeated commitment of treason after treason...
 
 
+14 # RMDC 2013-03-30 04:38
There used to be a song in the doo wap era called "Breaking up in hard to do." It should be playing now. This will be the hardest project the Senate has ever undertaken. The white house will be against it. So will all republicans and most democrats.

In the early 19th century, Standard Oil was broken up. In the 80s AT&T was broken up. It has happened but corporations are more powerful now.

The real risk to the US and world economies is allowing the banks to remain too big to prosecute or fail. Not breaking them up will sink western economies into 3rd world status. The austerity programs are trading social systems like healthcare, retirement, etc for bailouts of bad bank investments. that can't go on for much longer.
 
 
0 # indian weaver 2013-03-31 05:13
This is the story of Capitalism - human destruction and greed. After WWII, the Allied Powers broke up Farben Fabrikan, the German War Machine's greatest industrial power (the Wehrmacht = War Machine) into 5 companies to diminish the industrial power of Germany to allay another such war. But those 5 small companies are now some of the world's larges: Bayer AG, Hoechst and BASF. I forget the other 2 but they are certainly among the most powerful industry companies too. This is a fact of the horrible selfish and greedy system of life called "capitalism". Native Peoples survived on Earth 1000s of years because they practiced "socialism". Those societies were all based on mutual help and respect for the Earth and not raping her for her wealth. That is why native cultures survived for millenia, and why ours will not last much longer.
 
 
+5 # MidwestTom 2013-03-30 05:42
Does Bernie have a private security force? He ma need one soon.
 
 
+6 # dick 2013-03-30 06:31
I wish MSNBC & their regular guests would start & end EVERY show with a clever graphic on the # of days Obama-Holder have NOT held banksters accountable. Even Rachel is in on the cover-up. Keith would put the wood to bankster enablers. The very brilliant & very ambitious Maddow seems to want to widen her audience by not risking offending Obama cult duped groupies. But Holder, not goofus Paul, is Public Enemy #1.
 
 
+8 # jon 2013-03-30 07:10
"and hold more than 40 percent of all bank deposits in the United States."

(J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley)

If republicans manage to squash this bill a national grass-roots movement should be started to move the people's money to small local banks and credit unions.

I get tons of emails from activist organizations that have specific agendas, it is time for a new group to work on making big banks into smaller banks through customer flight.
 
 
+4 # indian weaver 2013-03-31 05:14
Every individual can move their own money into local banking / credit unions anytime. And cancel credit cards from large criminal banks and get one thru your local bank instead, as starters. I did.
 
 
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 13:18
Yes... it is those small local banks that didn't NEED a bailout because they operated honestly by the rules....
 
 
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 13:17
It's already here and active ion... the occupy movement is working and succeeding in a lot of ways... like saving people's homes from illegally done evictions... find a contact =in Occupy and see if there is something you can add to their arsenal of helpers...
 

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