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Bernie Sanders calls for big banks to break up

Senator Bernie Sanders
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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