Attorney General Eric Holder said something in Senate testimony that many had thought, but had never heard admitted at a high government level. “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them,” Holder said. Too big to fail, in other words, has become too big to jail. That’s got lawmakers talking about breaking up the banks again, if only to ensure that our basic laws can be reasonably enforced.
The financial industry is taking note. Hamilton Place Strategies released a white paper last month arguing against breaking up the largest banks, arguing that they provide a useful, important role in the global finance economy.
Sen. Sherrod Brown was the co-author of the Brown-Kauffman amendment that would have broken up the banks, but failed to pass during Dodd-Frank. He is currently working with Senator David Vitter (R-La.) on a new bill to help combat the Too Big To Fail. This conversation is slightly edited for length.
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