Take Them Down: Bill Introduced to Break Up ‘Too Big To Fail’ Institutions

by | Nov 10, 2009 | Headline News | 6 comments


US Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced a bill in Congress affectionately referred to as the Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Exist Act.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit to Congress a list of all commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds, and insurance companies that the Secretary believes are too big to fail (in this Act referred to as the ‘‘Too Big to Fail List’’).

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall break up entities included on the Too Big To Fail List, so that their failure would no longer cause a catastrophic effect on the United States or global economy without a taxpayer bailout.

Supporters of the Too Big To Fail, Too Big to Exist concept can sign a petition at Senator Bernie Sanders’ website.

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    1. Patrick

      This is a joke, right?  Bernie Sanders is the biggest (self-admitted) socialist around!  I must be going senile or something.

    2. admin

      They just want to see how many millions of us will sign the petition. I think they have some sort of office pool going in Congress or something.

      In the end, even if 100 million sign it, they’ll TARP-slap us again.

    3. Chris C.

      Is Uncle Sam on the list? Geez, I think that would be #1.

    4. Melanie S.

      First time commenting.  Mac, I really enjoy your blog. 

      This is gaining a lot of attention.  Unfortunately, it is another blatant power grab by giving Treasury the authority to break up banks.  Treasury is an EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, with the secretary being directly appointed by the president.  The executive branch has no business being granted the power to , either directly or indirectly through Treasury, break up any bank or business.

      That power already resides in the judicial branch via bankruptcy, antitrust laws, the SEC, the FTC, etc.

    5. admin

      Melanie, thanks for the comment !

      You are absolutely correct, in that the mechanisms to deal with these scenarios are already in place. The SEC, FTC, FDIC, et al have completely failed the American people in executing their duties. Not only have they failed us in the past, they are actively doing it right now! It leaves me with the impression that the entire system is corrupt, and when a ‘whistle blower’ does stand up, he/she is immediately silenced, fired or discredited.

      In all honesty, this bill is going to go nowhere. But, at least we the people can express our views by supporting the idea by signing the petition, alerting others and discussing it in an open forum on blogs like this one.

      It reminds me of a bumper sticker a friend had on his car:

      “Stand your mind – even if your voice shakes!” (Get it here)

      Long live We The People!

    6. Colonel X


      Failure is what happens to firms that make bad decisions. It’s Risk vs. Reward. They teach you that in Finance 101 in B-School.
      If a firm makes good decisions the market rewards the firm, and vice versa.

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