Papantonio: Are Conservatives Ready To Break Up The Banks?

From Ring of Fire: Papantonio: Are Conservatives Ready To Break Up The Banks?:

For years, Progressives have been fighting to break up the big banks that crashed our economy. And now, they've gotten an unlikely ally in that fight -- The Tea Party. Apparently there are some members in the GOP who actually believe that the too big to fail banks need to be broken apart -- but not for the same reason progressives believe. Mike Papantonio discusses the evolving attitudes of the Tea Party with investigative journalist David Dayen.

Here's more from DDay's column at The American Prospect: Banks Are Too Big to Fail Say ... Conservatives?:

Intellectuals on the right are coming around to the idea that our biggest financial institutions could use a little regulation.

Members of the Federal Reserve don’t usually make the rounds at partisan gatherings. But amid the tri-cornered hats and “#StandWithRand” buttons of last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)—the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the country—was Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. In a Saturday morning speech, Fisher quoted Revolutionary War hero Patrick Henry, who once said that while “Different men often see the same subject in different lights,” such quibbling had to be set aside in a time of “awful moment to this country.”

Fisher described the current time as an era of economic injustice in which the nation’s largest banks threaten our financial stability and act with immunity. He said that the Dodd-Frank financial reform law did not go nearly far enough to fix the problem, and that mega-banks still profited from being “Too Big to Fail.” His solutions included a proposal to limit the total assets held by the biggest financial institutions, keeping them at a size that would make them “small enough to save.” And he called on citizens of all political stripes to join him in this cause. “The American people will be grateful to whoever liberates them from a recurrence of taxpayer bailouts,” Fisher concluded. It was an indication of just how bipartisan the support for breaking up the big banks has become.

It may be surprising that conservatives—whose party just ran a private-equity tycoon for president—would be clamoring for Wall Street banks to be cut down to size. But over the last few years, conservative intellectuals—from economists and central bankers to think-tankers and high-profile pundits—have come to the conclusion that the largest institutions remain Too Big to Fail and that, in ways big and small, receive unfair financial advantages over their smaller rivals. Read on...


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