WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the Petersen Institute today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), former Governor Jon Huntsman (R-UT), and former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair outlined efforts to end “Too Big to Fail” policies that put U.S. taxpayers—and our entire national economy—at risk.
“Breaking up Wall Street megabanks is not a Democratic or Republican issue—it’s a Main Street issue,” Brown said. “We simply cannot stand by and wait until another crisis develops to act. We must ensure that Wall Street megabanks will never again monopolize our nation’s wealth or gamble away the American dream.”
During an event entitled, “Are Financial Institutions Still 'Too Big to Fail?’, Brown, Huntsman, and Bair discussed the shortcomings of current regulatory policies for the global financial system and the dangers of potential future government rescues of Wall Street megabanks. Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a senior fellow at the Petersen Institute for International Economics, moderated the panel.
During a joint address on the Senate floor last week, Brown and his colleague on the Senate Banking Committee, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), announced plans to introduce legislation that would rein in Wall Street megabanks. That speech is available here. Together, Brown and Vitter have successfully pressed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study of the economic benefits that the “too-big-to-fail” megabanks receive as a result of actual or perceived taxpayer funded support.
Brown, who chairs the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, is the author of the Safe, Accountable, Fair & Efficient (SAFE) Banking Act, legislation that would prevent any one financial institution from becoming so large and overleveraged that its collapse could put our economy on the brink of collapse or trigger the need for a federal bailout. Brown’s legislation is gaining broad bipartisan support, most recently, from the Washington Post’s George Will.