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Sanders writes: "Greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street drove this country into the worst recession since the Great Depression."

Senator Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders wave to supporters upon taking the stage on the Burlington, Vermont waterfront during the Bernie 2016 presidential announcement, May 26, 2015. (photo: Arun Chaudhary)
Senator Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders wave to supporters upon taking the stage on the Burlington, Vermont waterfront during the Bernie 2016 presidential announcement, May 26, 2015. (photo: Arun Chaudhary)

It's Time to Break Up the Banks

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

16 September 15


he greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street drove this country into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Their casino-style gambling has helped divert 99 percent of all new income to the top one percent. And it has contributed to the most unequal level of wealth and income distribution of any major country on earth.

In the midst of all of this grotesque inequality sits a handful of financial institutions that are still so large, the failure of any one would cause catastrophic risk to millions of Americans and send the world economy into crisis.

If it's too big to fail, it's too big to exist. That's the bottom line.

I introduced legislation in Congress that would break up banks that are too big to fail. Can you sign on as a citizen co-sponsor of my bill to show your support?

Banking should be boring. It shouldn't be about making as much profit as possible by gambling on esoteric financial products. The goal of banking should be to provide affordable loans to small and medium-sized businesses in the productive economy, and to Americans who need to purchase homes and cars.

That is not what these financial institutions are doing. They're instead creating an economy which is not sustainable from a moral, economic, or political perspective. It's a rigged economy that must be changed in fundamental ways.

Let's be clear who we're talking about: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and other institutions; they're all too big to fail. So they must be broken up.

Wall Street can't be an island unto itself separate from the rest of the productive economy whose only goal is to make as much money as possible. I fear very much that the financial system is even more fragile than many people may perceive.

Millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages, while virtually all new income goes to the people who need it the least. In fact, the top 14 wealthiest people saw their wealth grow more last year than the bottom 130 million have in total.

We must break this cycle to save the middle class in America. Can you show your support for my bill to break up the banks?

I'm running for President of the United States because I believe that it is incumbent on us to try to take back our country from the billionaires and make it thrive again for the working and middle class. Breaking up the banks is a critical part to making that a reality. your social media marketing partner


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+32 # tedrey 2015-09-18 14:23
Yes, I am eager to sign. Just where do I sign, RSN?
+7 # jimallyn 2015-09-19 00:04
Quoting tedrey:
Just where do I sign, RSN?

Apparently the link got lost somewhere. You can sign here:
-35 # perkinsej 2015-09-18 22:02
This fear of big banks is misplaced. The whole world today functions with universal banks. They have existed in Germany for more than a century. Canada only has about eight banks and never has had a serious financial problem on their account. Sanders should focus instead on raising tax rates on the wealthy.
+23 # Hey There 2015-09-18 23:27
But do the banks you speak of have the same rules as the American Banks? The banks failed because of repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.
+17 # Bruce Gruber 2015-09-19 06:51

The banks failed because they developed business plans that played investor depositors like 'marks' at a casino, then Wall Street bet what they already knew - that the gambling approach to investing would lead to failure. Defeating Glass-Steagall was the "deregulation" they needed to get away with it . AND THEY STILL ARE!

Big banks used the money to buy back their stock rather than make loans to small business, doubled their money, socked it to homeowners (use your 24% credit card - against which you can't bankrupt thanks to Joe Biden) and extracted $billion$ of homeowner equity, leading to ARM foreclosures and additional investment opportunity (see Detroit).

No, we don't have to fear banks. They've got our backs ... and our fronts ... and our a***s.
+15 # harleysch 2015-09-19 08:10
The universal banks of the EU are all in terrible shape, with huge volumes of derivative debt backed up by nothing. The current "business model" is to speculate in increasingly risky financial paper, building up trading profits, while the worthless paper will ultimately be covered by governments (bailouts), or the depositors (bail-ins). The "universal banks" all needed bailouts after the 2008 crash, especially Deutschebank, Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP-Parisbas, as well as the U.S. banks.

There is no Glass Steagall in the EU, though there are several nations with supporters of Glass Steagall, including the UK (Corbyn), Italy, France and Austria.

Without Glass Steagall, commercial banks can use money from depositors as real money, as a basis for leveraged speculation. With Glass Steagall, that is illegal.

In addition to his bill calling for breaking up the big banks, Bernie is a cosponsor of the Senate Glass Steagall bill, which has 5 sponsors, along with more than 60 in the House.

We must get Glass Steagall implemented BEFORE the next crash -- No more bailouts or bail-ins!
+24 # Dongi 2015-09-18 22:27
Yes, Bernie, where do I sign? Additionally, I will work hard for your electoral victory, I will give *oney, I will call Congresspeople, I will drive people to the polls. Whatever is needed. But, one thing I ask in return. Take care of your security needs. We don't need another Kennedy or *artin L. King. Even FDR had his life threatened between his electoral victory and his inauguration. So take pains. Be careful of open cars and *ixing too freely with the people. Get so*e of the guys who protected F. Castro. They were real good. You're going against the bankers now. I don't think they like you.

Forewarned if forar*ed.
+2 # jimallyn 2015-09-19 00:04
Quoting Dongi:
Yes, Bernie, where do I sign?

Apparently the link got lost somewhere. You can sign here:
+10 # ritawalpoleague 2015-09-19 03:10
Thank you, Dongi. Bernie most certainly needs to be protected from today's actual evil rulers, a.k.a. the 1%. And it's not only the blatant JFK, RFK, MLK style shooting that he needs protection from, but from less blatant 'slaughter his brain' methods, i.e. poisoning of the air he breaths when he's at home in D.C., home in Vermont, and/or in the room he's given in motels or hotels where he stays while campaigning. This warning was given me by very reliable sources, who shall remain anonymous.

And this breathing air ruination can also go on in vehicles in which he rides, via poisoned fumes coming from vehicles that pass by, drive near him, etc.. Best for him to protect clean air in the vehicle in which he rides.

Betcha that Bernie already has plenty of protection in place, smarter than smart dedicated people server that he is. No doubt his name being on a passenger list causes a 'mandatory second pre-flight inspection'. His 12 Point Plan and education of we the dumbed down sheeple for need of a political revolution, most certainly has him on today's 'kill list'.

Protect Bernie we must, as we turn out in vast masses of primary voters and attendees at Democratic caucuses in the caucus states.

I also agree with Pablo Diablo's comment below: "Bernie may be our last chance. VOTE" Yes, Pablo D., vote we all must, and.....

+19 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-09-18 22:27
Bernie may be our last chance. VOTE.
0 # jimallyn 2015-09-19 00:05
Apparently the link got lost somewhere. You can sign here:
+1 # bardphile 2015-09-19 04:06
The link turns out to be a fundraiser--the se "petitions" always do. This time I gladly sent in 50. Good way to start the day.
+6 # tedrey 2015-09-19 06:39
Don't confuse the matter. The petition is there to be signed. The fundraiser is voluntary.
-8 # tombright 2015-09-19 06:32
[From the Other Side -- brr-rr!]

Should we count direct and indirect benefits collectivists get from the nonprofit sector, single-issue activists, public and private sector unions, Wall Street banks, universities and PAC bundlers? The Horowitz-Laksin book The New Leviathan claims the Republican Party is outspent seven to one.

Also try
+4 # tedrey 2015-09-19 06:45
You are not remotely describing Bernie Sanders' campaign, however. All the other candidates outspend him; it's up to us to first out-poll and then to out-vote *them*.
+2 # bardphile 2015-09-19 11:52
Quite right. I urge people to sign--and contribute if they can. I can't help recalling when I first responded to a bogus petition--and got 20 more in my mail within the next month (this was before the internet). I vowed never again. But this is different.
+12 # Bruce Gruber 2015-09-19 07:06
Bernie is NOT our "last hope". He is our first step! Putting Elizabeth Warren at Treasury is the second step. Putting Spitzer as Attorney General, Bill Richardson as Secretary of State and Kareem as the next Supreme Court Justice would be another good step forward. Getting rid of Citizens United, re-establishing Glass-Steagall is another.

A Federal tax on commodities and stock transactions AND gambling bets would be a positive game changer. And then my favorite - changing Defense expenditure to an annual insurance premium with no deduction, depreciation or avoidance mechanisms on worldwide capital wealth of individuals and corporate interests - because THAT is what is being "protected" by our defense establishment.
+9 # Citizen Mike 2015-09-19 07:37
Bernie has adopted a very wise strategy of running not against any other candidate but running against the big banks and Wall St., which are widely feared and despised. By doing this he is already actively running for President long before he will have to challenge a Republican or another Democrat.

So by the time the primaries and conventions begin, he will have already won the support of the general public. He is the only candidate that does not fear the big banks and Wall St.

He will force the other candidates to confront the issue of restoring Glass-Steagal. This will be a challenge for Hillary, whose husband was responsible for its repeal.

I sure hope he is watching out for assassins, the corporate mercenaries are probably trailing him already.
+1 # old codger 2015-09-19 15:40
Outlaw speculation and destroy capitalism . Restore the wealth to the creators of wealth , to the working people.
Usury used to be a sin . It should be a crime .
+1 # Bruce Gruber 2015-09-20 09:10
Marked cards and loaded dice are today's pseudo-capitali st hucksters' replacement for long term investment in enterprise that contributes to a 'better', rather than a 'winner's' world.

Working to prevent Elizabeth Warren from leading the Consumer Protection Agency, the Wall Street/financia l/legalistic/po litical establishment that runs both political parties released the wrath of progressives.

Fed up with cheap media propaganda (Carter's sweater and solar panels, Muskie's empathetic nature, Dukakis's helmet, Gore's internet involvement, Kerry's "bad war" record, Howard Dean's yell) Progressives are mobilized by Bernie's direct, policy oriented, truth-to-power campaign.

As the tide builds for progressive idealism, the fear and muckraking will break out from the establishment media. The non-issue hate and deceive campaign will ramp up. Hillary's lack of transparency, candor and empathy for real people necessitates the 'placement' of a fellow neocon, 'nice' guy to take her place as 'moderate' - though it is Progressives who are truly moderate.

The "old codger" is correct. "value" is what working people contribute to society through work, savings and building. Capitalists in today's society extract wealth and value from the world by consolidating, liquidating and ignoring the future in greed for accumulation of monetary wealth and governmental control with which to keep it FROM being invested in society and mankind's future.

Feel the Bern!
0 # Robbee 2015-09-21 09:24
bernie is setting the table for the debates! - # Citizen Mike 2015-09-19 07:37 "Bernie ... will force the other candidates to confront the issue of restoring Glass-Steagal. This will be a challenge for Hillary, whose husband was responsible for its repeal."

- hill has alot of tap dancing to do - i predict we will all be astounded how progressive she sounds - but, for her, the devil is in the details - go bernie!

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