Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders will pledge to break up the country’s largest financial institutions within the first year of his administration if he is elected president next November, according to The Fresno Bee.
Although Vermont Senator Sanders has not made that promise formally yet, it is expected to be included in a a rare policy address that he is scheduled to deliver in Manhattan on Wall Street reform on Tuesday. Wall Street reforms are one of the key areas Sanders hopes to address during his campaign for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton, reports The Washington Post.
In his address, Bernie Sanders will pledge to create a “too-big-to-fail” list of companies within the first 100 days of his administration, according to excerpts from his speech released by his campaign, some of which is mentioned below.
“A handful of huge financial institutions simply have too much economic and political power over this country.
If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. When it comes to Wall Street reform, that must be our bottom line.
Greed is not good. And, here is a New Year’s Resolution that we will keep: If you do not end your greed, we will end it for you.”
Bernie Sanders is also expected to rally for the reinstatement of a modern Glass-Steagall Act to separate commercial banking, investment banking, and insurance services. The law effectively limits the size of financial companies by prohibiting commercial banks from engaging in investment banking activities. Its repeal under President Bill Clinton in 1999 was seen by critics as a key reason for the global credit crisis.
Wall Street reform is a key issue for Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who has questioned the political influence of the “billionaire class.” Furthermore, Sanders intends to question whether or not Hillary Clinton would crack down on what he considers are grave financial sector excesses. Clinton and her husband, Bill Clinton, have made tens of millions in speaking fees from addresses to Wall Street banks and other financial firms over the years.
Bernie Sanders is expected to call out for “a banking system that is part of the productive economy, making loans at affordable rates to small- and medium-sized businesses so that we create decent-paying jobs.”
“Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself, gambling trillions in risky financial instruments,” reads one of the excerpts from Sanders’ policy address.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign tried to pre-empt Bernie Sanders’ speech on Monday afternoon when a statement released by a top Clinton aide, Gary Gensler, argued that Clinton would do more to curb financial sector excesses than Sanders possibly could.
“In his speech tomorrow, Sen. Sanders should go beyond his existing plans for reforming Wall Street and endorse Hillary Clinton’s tough, comprehensive proposals to rein in risky behavior within the shadow banking sector.”
When the tug of war between the two Democratic presidential hopefuls is indeed so focused on Wall Street reforms, one can expect both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to lay out detailed plans on how they intend to counter what Sanders sees as grave financial excesses by “too-big-to-fail” financial institutions in the coming days.
[Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images]