All Community Bankers, State Trade Groups Should Tell Senators To Support S. 798
The reports are in—Wall Street is doing its best to undermine legislation that would take on the too-big-to-fail threat and end the six largest megabanks’ government-funded subsidy. As a result, every community banker, board member and employee must remain vigilant in the coming weeks to urge their senators to support the Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act (S. 798).
The ICBA-supported legislation, introduced by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.), would implement higher capital levels on the largest megabanks to address the market distortions caused by their too-big-to-fail guarantee. It also would relieve community banks of several regulatory burdens to help them compete. Community bankers can use ICBA’s “Be Heard” grassroots website to send customizable emails and tweets to their senators.
The Wall Street Journal, Politico and The New York Times’ Simon Johnson reported that the Wall Street megabanks are urgently hiring Washington insiders to increase their influence in policymaking circles. There is little question why—as Washington Post columnist Barry Ritholtz wrote, removing the megabanks’ competitive advantages supports industry competition.
S. 798 is critical to ending systemic risks and too-big-to-fail government distortions of our financial system. That is why every community banker and state trade association that represents community banks needs to endorse and support this legislation. With Wall Street pulling out all the stops to derail S. 798 and perpetuate the too-big-to-fail status quo, our industry must work together to take on this problem once and for all.