“No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure could send the world economy into crisis,” Sanders said. “If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.”
More than a year has gone by since Congress passed the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. The Federal Reserve has committed trillions of additional dollars in virtually zero-interest loans and other assistance to large financial institutions resulting in the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world.
President Bush and Ben Bernanke told us we needed to bail out Wall Street because we could not allow big financial institutions and insurance giants to fail because if they failed it would have led to the collapse of the U.S. and global economies.
Today, most of the huge financial institutions still standing have become even bigger — so big that the four largest banks in America (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup) now issue one out of every two mortgages; two out of three credit cards; and hold $4 out of every $10 in bank deposits in the entire country.
If any of these financial institutions were to get into major trouble again, taxpayers would be on the hook for another massive bailout. We cannot let that happen. We need to do exactly what Teddy Roosevelt did back in the trust-busting days and break up these big banks.
That is why I introduced legislation that would give the secretary of the Treasury 90 days to identify every single financial institution and insurance company in this country that is too big to fail and to break up those institutions within one year.
If it’s too big to fail, it’s too big to exist.