Well, it seems the Senate CAN get something done if it wants to. And it can garner 61 votes for or against something, if it wants to, particularly when it’s to rally on behalf of Wall Street. That’s right. The gutless Senate refused Thursday night to force too-big-to-fail banks to be broken up. According to Huffington Post,
The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), would have required megabanks to be broken down in size and capped so that their individual failure would not bring down the entire system.
Under Brown-Kaufman, no bank could hold more than 10 percent of the total amount of insured deposits, and a limit would have been placed on liabilities of a single bank to two percent of GDP.
The vote was 61 against 33 for. And, by the way, Virginia, Mark Warner and Chris Dodd spoke against the amendment. They had dubious company. According to Huffington Post, Judd Gregg said this:
“Basically, what it says is if you’re successful…you’re going to break them up? I mean, where does this stop? Do we take McDonald’s on?”
Yeh, I can’t believe the “high” (snark) level of Judd’s thinking either. This is one of the so-called deficit commission members? Does he really think McDonald’s is equatable to our financial system? Although a company as large as McDonald’s could have implications for the economy, it alone does not have the potential to bring down the country’s, and possibly the world’s economy all at once.
Without the ability to force too-big-to-fail banks to divest themselves, thus reducing their relentless push toward excessively leveraged buyouts and monopolistic practices, there is little hope that the banking system can be secure. Of course, there is much more to do to shore up our banking sector than the focus of this one amendment, including the re-installing of Glass- Steagall. But this amendment was an important one. It’s pitiful that when it comes to our economy our Senate can come together for destructive purpose, to defeat reform, but not to build it.