Sanders: ‘If Wall Street Does Not End Its Greed, We Will End It for Them’
Sen. Bernie Sanders is no friend of Wall Street and he made that even more abundantly clear on Tuesday when he laid out his plan to reform the corporate greed that controls Wall Street.
In short, Sanders promised to put an end to big banks and said that “if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.”
“The reality is that fraud is the business model on Wall Street,” he said. “It is not the exception to the rule. It is the rule.”
“To those on Wall Street who may be listening today, let me be very clear: Greed is not good,” Sanders said.
“In fact, 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,” he said.
Sanders also called for the re-implementation of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banks until it was repealed under President Bill Clinton. It’s a major split in the Democratic primary, as Clinton argues that putting that divide back in place would do little to prevent the excesses that caused the 2008 economic tumble.
Sanders took several shots at Clinton, saying that “Secretary Clinton is wrong” and characterizing her as part of a political establishment that he said is to blame for income inequality.
“My opponent says that, as a senator, she told bankers to ‘cut it out’ and end their destructive behavior. But in my view, establishment politicians are the ones who need to cut it out,” Sanders said.
“The reality is that Congress doesn’t regulate Wall Street. Wall Street, its lobbyists and their billions of dollars regulate Congress,” he said.
Sanders also attacked the financial sector more broadly. He proposed turning for-profit credit agencies into non-profits, and called for caps on ATM fees of $2.
And he pledged to lock those who have worked for major financial firms out of jobs in his administration if he’s elected.
“Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks will not be represented in my administration,” Sanders said.
For Sanders, it’s a political posture that has resonated with much of the Democratic base, but he still faces serious obstacles in his bid to undercut Clinton on economic reform.
Just before Sanders’ speech, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — another icon of the left — endorsed Clinton’s Wall Street policy platform.
And in a pre-buttal to Sanders’ speech, Clinton chief financial officer Gary Gensler, the former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, prodded Sanders to endorse Clinton’s Wall Street plan.
“Senator 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,” Gensler said.
Photo credit: Forbes.