In response to a recent remark by
Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has
introduced Senate legislation aimed at breaking up banks regarded as "to
big to fail." Holder had said his
Justice Department may not pursue criminal cases against big banks because
filing charges could "have a negative impact on the national economy,
perhaps even the world economy."
said of his bill, "We have a situation now where Wall Street banks are not
only too big to fail, they are too big to jail.
The bill, currently titled the "Too
Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act.'' was simultaneously introduced into the
House by Brad Sanders (D-CA). If enacted
it would give the Treasury Department 90 days to identify commercial banks,
investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies "that the Secretary
believes are too big to fail, which shall include, but is not limited to any
United States bank holding companies that have been identified as systemically
important banks by the Financial Stability Board" and whose "failure
would have a catastrophic effect on the stability of either the financial
system or the United States economy without substantial government
The bill would then mandate the
Treasury secretary to break up the identified entities so that that failure of
any one would "no longer cause a catastrophic effect on the United States
or global economy without a taxpayer bailout."