Break up the banks. It's bipartisan

  • Article by: George Will , Washington Post
  • Updated: February 10, 2013 - 5:11 PM

'Too big to fail' was fostered not by the free market but by the government.

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swmnguyFeb. 10, 13 7:39 PM

Breaking up the TBTF's is the obvious first step toward safeguarding our financial economy. The next is the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. Then we need to eliminate High-Frequency trading, which allows selected cronies much faster access to the markets, letting them skim off both buy and sell orders by in effect letting them see what price others will accept below their asking or above their bidding price. Then we need to institute a Tobin tax on high-volume trades. We also need to charge in criminal court the individuals in the banks who have authorized felonies, like the fraudulent documents including forged and missing title transfers so prevalent in housing finance, tainted bond packages, bogus ratings, rigged financial statements and data points like LIBOR, etc. When crime pays so handsomely, penalties are so lenient and the rule of law is not enforced, no wonder the system is so corrupt and dangerous.

All of those steps will go a long way to restoring the integrity of our banking and market systems, which have become intertwined and corrupted to the point that it's bipartisan wisdom that they're rigged.

Our system depends entirely on confidence. When a majority conclude the system has been corrupted, it can't survive unaltered.

nonewtaxesFeb. 10, 13 8:52 PM

It is interesting that the article used a photo of USBank. They are not huge, and did not require a bailout.

fonzi3Feb. 11, 1312:02 AM

Big Banks and Big Business run the government and this country - plain and simple. To restore prosperity to the U.S., we must break up the big banks and decrease the lobbying power of Big Businesses. Small businesses always have been, and always will be the backbone of this country.

twinsajsfFeb. 11, 13 6:38 AM

Wow, George will decrying corporate welfare? This is either a sign the GOP is finally shifting to a more resonable course, or . . . or . . . the apocolypse?

BBJoeFeb. 11, 13 7:51 AM

Glad to see it is bipartisan. We need both parties trying to solve real problems for Americans. If both parties are willing to take on big money to do the right thing for average Americans, we have a chance.

FreeMplsFeb. 11, 13 8:02 AM

Raise the capital ratio requirements to coincide with balance sheet assets. To the economically unenlightened, this would effectively make it too expensive to be big. It's really that simple. And get rid of the GSE's too. Dodd Frank could have been about these two things on a single page. Instead, a Wall Street lobby fest hosted by two of the most liberal law makers.

marcymmbFeb. 11, 13 9:01 AM

fonzi3, Feb. 11, 13 12:02 AM Big Banks and Big Business run the government and this country - Ithink you forgot unions. I disagree with all you people I think the government should keep their nose out of the private sector.

beebee82Feb. 11, 13 9:16 AM

nonewtaxes, US Bank took $44 million in bailout funds.

Propublica has a list of the banks that took bailout funds, those that paid them back, those that still owe taxpayers and those that did not need bailouts. For those who still think Fannie and Freddie were the sole cause of the housing collapse, please read up. Their bailouts were fewer than the next four combined — and your finger will get tired by the time it scrolls all the way down the list.

hjlazniFeb. 11, 13 9:30 AM

. If both parties are willing to take on big money to do the right thing for average Americans, we have a chance Wow! Don't you get it. Big business buys the elected representative, they approve the war machine and do other favors for Big Business. A true Democracy is the only way to take back the country.

cranelakemanFeb. 11, 13 9:43 AM

How about breaking up the wireless companies?


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