【以下、Financial Times の引用】
Explaining Bernie Sanders’ ‘too big to fail’ plan
Democratic candidate has struggled to articulate how he would break up the banks
15 HOURS AGO by: Barney Jopson and Courtney Weaver in Washington and Ben McLannahan in New York
As the presidential campaign moves to New York, Bernie Sanders has come under fire for struggling to detail how he would break up the biggest Wall Street banks, a policy he has made a cornerstone of his campaign platform.
In an interview this week with the Daily News, Mr Sanders wobbled about whether he would use existing or new legislation to break the banks up; what the legal implications of such a move would be; and which legal statutes he would invoke to prosecute Wall Street executives for the 2008 crash.
So what is Bernie Sanders proposing?
Mr Sanders’ main strategy for breaking up the banks would be to expand the authority of the Financial Stability Oversight Committee, a powerful committee of regulators that identifies “too big to fail” institutions. While the Dodd-Frank Act already gives the Treasury the authority to determine which financial institutions pose systemic risks to the economy, the Treasury has not actually broken up any financial institutions.
In an interview with MSNBC on Friday, Mr Sanders said he could take two routes to break up the banks. One would be to use Section 121 of the Dodd-Frank Act while a second would be to get his 2015 “Too Big To Fail, Too Big to Exist” act to be passed by Congress. That act would bar any financial institution deemed too big to fail from receiving financial assistance from the Federal Reserve and force the Treasury to break up the banks — rather than just deeming them systemically risky, as the current legislation does.
Another part of Mr Sanders’ plan for cutting banks down to size is to implement a 21st century version of the Glass-Steagall Act — a 1933 law that separated stolid deposit-taking banks from riskier investment activities. It was repealed by former president Bill Clinton in 1999, a business-friendly piece of deregulation that left a stain on his legacy in the eyes of many progressives.
What does the regulatory world think?
Barney Frank, who helped devise the post-crisis Dodd-Frank reforms, has opposed Mr Sanders’ plans, arguing that breaking up the banks would cause huge disruption and leave US businesses at a disadvantage in the global economy.
Expressing the mainstream view, Stanley Fischer, the Fed’s deputy governor, argues that Dodd-Frank has already made big banks much safer by forcing them to hold more capital and liquidity buffers, stress-testing their operations, and requiring them to write “living wills” on how they could be wound down smoothly.
Mr Sanders and his progressive allies, however, are not alone in fretting that some banks are still dangerously large. In February Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Fed, said the biggest banks were still too big to fail and called for Congress to consider “transformational solutions” that go beyond Dodd-Frank. “We have to be candid with the American people about the risks we still face,” he told the Financial Times.
Mr Kashkari is not saying that breaking up the banks is the right solution, but he has put it forward as one of three options to be debated. The other two are imposing a punitive tax on leverage across the financial system and requiring banks to hold so much capital that they effectively become fail-proof public utilities.