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Petition to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
Too Big to Fail is Too Big to Exist
Financial institutions that are “too big to fail” played a major role in undermining the American economy and driving our country into a severe recession.
Financial institutions that are “too big to fail” put taxpayers on the hook for a $700 billion bailout and more than $2 trillion from the Federal Reserve in virtually zero interest loans.
Huge financial institutions have become so big that the four largest banks in America (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup) now issue one out of every two mortgages; two out of three credit cards; and hold $4 out of every $10 in bank deposits in the country.
Just five banks in America (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) own a staggering 95% of the $290 trillion in derivatives held at commercial banks. Derivatives are risky side bets made by Wall Street gamblers that led to the $182 billion bailout of AIG, the $29 billion bailout that allowed JP Morgan Chase to acquire Bear Stearns, and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
The concentration of ownership in the financial services industry has resulted in higher bank fees and interest rates that consumers are forced to pay for credit cards, mortgages and other financial products.
No single financial institution should be so large that its failure would cause catastrophic risk to millions of American jobs or to our nation’s economic well-being.
No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure could send the world economy into crisis.
We believe it is time to break up the banks and insurance companies which are too big to fail.
We believe that passage of The Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act is essential for a strong American economy and a secure future for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.
We urge the immediate enactment of the Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act, which directs the treasury secretary to compile a list of those financial institutions that are too big to fail in the next 90 days, and to break up these banks and insurance companies a year after the legislation is signed into law.