THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013
By David Dayen, a lapsed blogger, now a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on Twitter @ddayen
There’s been an unlikely yet welcome resurgence of chatter about breaking up the nation’s largest and most powerful banks. Bloomberg’s story quantifying the too big to fail subsidy grabbed some eyeballs (and there’s an upcoming GAO report on the subsidy that will do the same). Sherrod Brown announced an unlikely pairing with David Vitter working on legislation on the subject. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher is going to give a big speech on Friday on breaking up the banks… at CPAC, the largest conservative political conference of the year.
At the same time the unending stream of reports of abuses and fraudulent actions give fuel to the movement. And we’ll get another one Friday, when Carl Levin’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations releases their report, complete with a companion hearing, on the London “Fail Whale” trades, the losses for which stretch as high as $8 billion. Early reports suggest that the report will be unsparing. Levin’s committee did an excellent job in prior investigations of Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs (which they gift-wrapped to the Justice Department as a criminal referral, only to see DoJ toss it in the wastebasket). People I’ve talked to expect the hearing to be explosive.