On Wednesday, newly announced presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont unveiled legislation that aims to break up too-big-to-fail banks.
The bill, according to The Hill, would “require federal regulators to determine which financial institutions pose a risk to the economy thanks to their size and complexity, and give those firms a simple message: Break yourselves up, or the government will do it for you.”
“If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist, and that is the bottom line,” self-proclaimed "Democratic-Socialist" Sanders said. A longtime opponent of Wall Street, Sanders recently announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on anti-big bank policies and a more socialist economic approach. During the unveiling of the legislation, Sanders outlined a series of statistics that highlighted economic inequality throughout the country. According to the Vermont senator, the 14 richest people in the country gained $157 billion in income for themselves, “which is more wealth than is owned by the bottom 130 million Americans.”
“In the midst of this grotesque level of income and wealth inequality is Wall Street,” Sanders added. He spoke to the economic meltdown in 2008 and 2009, saying that since that time, three out of the four biggest banks grew by over 80 percent.
“Incredibly, during that time, JPMorgan Chase has increased its assets by more than $1.1 trillion; Bank of America has seen its assets grow by more than $500 billion; and after Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia, it has more than tripled in size,” he said.
“If any of these financial institutions were to fail again, the taxpayers of this country would be on the hook for another bailout, perhaps even larger than the last one," he added. "We cannot let that happen again.”
Photo Credit: thehill.com, huffingtonpost.com