I got you, babe
In the late 1970s, Sonny and Cher sang this cute tune. They were singing to each other. Now our Senators are singing the same song to Wall Street. Brown-Kaufman was a reasonable proposal. It limited the size of banks to a percentage of our GDP. The proposal went down in flames. Why? Wouldn’t limiting bank size actually help the middle class? I thought that’s what Congress wanted to do… help the middle class?
Simon Johnson has more:
The Brown-Kaufman SAFE Banking Amendment proposed a hard size cap on our largest banks, limiting their assets to a very small fraction of the size of our economy. The premise was simple – and could fit on a bumper sticker (or in a campaign flyer for November) – “too big to fail” is too big to exist.
But this proposal to modify the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill failed in the Senate in early May, by a vote of 33-61, with 27 Democrats voting against the idea. Since that time, Democratic supporters have been asking their representatives the obvious question: Why did you vote against Brown-Kaufman?
Interestingly, no senators yet have replied – at least on the record – that the power of the megabanks was too great to be overcome. Instead, there are three main arguments going the rounds.
First, some argue that the Brown-Kaufman would by itself not have completely solved all the problems that can cause our financial system to meltdown. As one senator put it in a recent letter, “[Brown-Kaufman] would not solve the problem of systemic risk and systemically important institutions in a comprehensive manner.” (more…)