A jaw-dropping admission about mega-banks, uttered last week by our Attorney General, has been somewhat under-reported, considering the role big banks played in the bone-crushing financial crisis of 2008, a crisis for which millions of Americans are still paying a price:
But I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute — if we do bring a criminal charge — it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.
…I think it has an inhibiting influence, impact on our ability to bring resolutions that I think would be more appropriate.
Fortunately, liberal Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren (damn, that still feels good to write), is watching:
It has been almost five years since the financial crisis, but the big banks are still too big to fail. That means they are subsidized by about $83 billion a year by American taxpayers and are still not being held fully accountable for breaking the law. Attorney General Holder’s testimony that the biggest banks are too-big-to-jail shows once again that it is past time to end too-big-to-fail.
Warren, champion of the 99 percent, also had something to say about the government’s December, 2012, settlement with HSBC—the gimongous British bank that was laundering money for drug-dealing thugs in Mexico and Columbia and elsewhere—in which the banksters are required to pay nearly $2 billion (which is only a little over a month’s worth of profits) in order to avoid criminal charges:
If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’ll go to jail. If you’re caught repeatedly, you can go to jail for life. Evidently, if you launder nearly $1 billion for drug cartels and violate our government’s sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night. I think that’s fundamentally wrong.
Another liberal legislator, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, is trying to lead a bipartisan effort—right-wing Senator David Vitter is on board—“to break up the taxpayer-funded party on Wall Street” by breaking up the big banks.
Who knows, maybe there is enough outrage out there to get something done, but don’t hold your breath. Senator Brown tried but failed to get a break-up-the-big-banks amendment added to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform law, passed way back in, uh, 2010.
For more on what Senator Brown thinks about the big banks and how to do away with the absurdity of too-big-to-fail, go here. To at least do something to show support for breaking up these banks, here is a petition you can sign. Here is another one.
Below are two video segments featuring the very liberal Sen. Brown and the very conservative Sen. Vitter, explaining the problem and their plans to address it. If you are one of those hankering for bipartisanship in Congress, if you are one of those who long to see an intersection of ideological interests between liberals and conservatives, this is your issue. No, this is our issue.
Sadly, only a few hundred folks have watched these video segments posted on YouTube, which is, of course, how the banksters are able to get away with this stuff.
Get educated, then get outraged, then get active: