“Too-big-to-fail” legislation unveiled in Washington today is needed to rein in the biggest U.S. banks because the Dodd-Frank Act has failed to guard taxpayers against future bailouts, the bill’s sponsors said.
The four largest banks -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co -- “are nearly $2 trillion larger than they were” before getting U.S. aid to help them weather the 2008 credit crisis, Senator Sherrod Brown said in a news conference today.
“If big banks want to continue risky practices, they should do so with their own assets,” said Brown, an Ohio Democrat. “Our bill will ensure a level playing field for all financial institutions by ending the subsidy for Wall Street megabanks and requiring banks to have adequate capital.”
Brown and Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, whose plan is opposed by key lawmakers, are proposing a 15 percent capital requirement for so-called megabanks as a way to reduce risk and remove the perception that they would get bailouts in a crisis. Mid-size and regional banks, those between $500 billion and $50 billion in assets, would need to have 8 percent capital relative to assets.