Oct 3, 2018

Bernie Sanders calls for big banks to break up

Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the ‘‘Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Exist Act’’ on Wednesday, which would cap the exposure of U.S. financial companies to no more than 3% of gross domestic product, or about $584 billion.

Why it matters: By the bill's standards, several banks — including Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan — and other companies like AIG and MetLife would need to shrink their assets or break up. This legislation, which is extremely unlikely to move forward, comes one day after Sanders took a victory lap for Amazon raising its minimum wage (which he had called for).

Many of the banks called out by Sanders forwarded requests for comment to the Financial Services Forum, whose members include all of the big bank CEOs. The group released the following statement:

”To have a large, strong economy that supports households and businesses big and small, you must have large, strong, global banks. The banking industry and governments around the globe have made enormous strides during the past decade to ensure that large banks are safe and sound and that no institution is too big to fail.  Policymakers must neither ignore the progress that has been made nor the essential role of large financial institutions in our economy.”

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to keep his momentum after winning New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hopes to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates are just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday.

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What to watch in tonight's Democratic debate

Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Colorado. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Bernie Sanders is now the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his opponents are ready to try to knock him down at tonight's debate in Charleston, South Carolina — especially Michael Bloomberg, who was the punching bag at the Las Vegas debate.

Why it matters: This is the last debate before Super Tuesday, when Sanders is expected to win California and Texas and could secure an insurmountable lead for the Democratic nomination. That's a direct threat to the entire field, but especially to Bloomberg, who skipped the early states to focus on the March 3 contests.