Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wants answers.
After the financial crisis, the Senate considered legislation from senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Ted Kaufman (D-DE) that would have broken up the nation’s biggest banks. The Treasury Department didn’t support the law and it failed.
Now, Warren says that big banks are larger than they were before they needed to be bailed out.
“How big do the biggest banks have to get before we consider breaking them up?” Warren asked newly appointed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last week. “They’re 30 percent bigger now than they were five years ago. Do they have to double in size, triple in size, quadruple in size before we talk about breaking up the biggest financial institutions?”
Lew said that his policy was to end “too big to fail” and that he would not advise that until the Dodd-Frank financial reforms are fully in place.
Most Americans aren’t aware that the Obama administration opposed breaking up the big banks. In 2010, as the debate over financial reform raged, the Tea Party movement was acting as if regulation and high taxes had created the crisis, despite both at or near half-century lows. And while Brown and Kaufman were fighting to restrain the banks, Elizabeth Warren hadn’t yet made it to the floor of the Senate or the Senate Banking Committee.
And now you can see why the banks never wanted her to get there at all.