Sen. Bernie Sanders went on a tirade against Wall Street on Tuesday and in the process, took the time to point out one or two major flaws in his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Sanders, a democratic socialist and presidential hopeful, said in an in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday that not only did he have little faith that Clinton would stand up to Wall Street, but that she lacked the courage entirely.
Sanders has long been a proponent of bringing back Glass-Steagall, which was established in during the Depression to keep commercial bankers on Wall Street out of the investment banking world. But Clinton believes Glass-Steagall would have done little to prevent the most recent recession nor would it keep Wall Street in line. Her view is that it is not the banks causing the most damage. It was what NPR calls “non-banks” such as Lehman Brother and Countrywide Financial. Clinton claims that these entities need to be the focus of wall street reform, and another Glass-Steagall just wouldn’t cover it.
But Sanders has big plans for Wall Street.
“The greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the very fabric of our nation. And here is a New Year’s resolution that I will keep if elected president, and that is, if Wall Street does not end its greed, we will end it for them. Our goal must be to create a financial system and an economy that works for all of our people, not just a handful of billionaires.”
Hillary doesn’t seem to have a bold enough plan for Sanders, who has expressed the same views for decades and rarely changes sides on a matter, a consistency his opponent also seems to lack:
“I have been fairly consistent my entire political life. Some people say I’m kind of boring because I have been saying the same thing for 30 years.”
Senator Sanders statement in New York City over the past couple of days have even earned the praise of Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who has yet to endorse anyone, according to the International Business Times.
I'm glad @BernieSanders is out there fighting to hold big banks accountable, make our economy safer, & stop the GOP from rigging the system.
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) January 6, 2016
Although it is not a full endorsement, much needed by Sanders’ struggling campaign, it is high praise from another proponent of Wall Street reform. However, her praise is not surprising due to the fact that the plan for a “21st Century Glass-Steagall Act” was in part her idea.
“Let’s be clear: This legislation, introduced by my colleague Sen. Elizabeth Warren, aims at the heart of the shadow banking system… In my view, Sen. Warren, is right. Dodd-Frank should have broken up Citigroup and other ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks into pieces. And that’s exactly what we need to do. And that’s what I commit to do as president.”
“Too-big-to-fail” banks are a common concern among many politicians of the liberal persuasion. It is their view that the major Wall Street banks and institutions own too much wealth to maintain a healthy economy. Robert Reich claims that five major Wall Street banks own up to 44 percent of the nations banking assets, and without reform the economy can never fully recover.
Hillary’s plan for Wall Street reform will focus on the gray areas. In a December op-ed to the New York Times she wrote the following.
“My plan would strengthen oversight of these activities, too — increasing leverage and liquidity requirements for broker-dealers and imposing strict margin requirements on the kinds of short-term borrowing that also played a major role in spurring the financial crisis.”
Although Sanders’ statements on financial reform were met with great applause in New York City, Hillary’s less aggressive game-plan to not take on Wall Street banks resonates on its own. The Sanders campaign is falling behind, while Clinton is gaining.
[Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]