Cincinnati Enquirer: Brown: Banks need dose of discipline

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Cincinnati Enquirer: Brown: Banks need dose of discipline

By Senator Sherrod Brown:

The six largest U.S. bank holding companies have 14,420 subsidiaries, only 19 of which are traditional banks. Their physical commodities activities are not subject to transparency – they are buried deep within various subsidiaries like their Fixed Income, Currency & Commodities units; asset management divisions; and other business lines.

I’ve introduced legislation with Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana to impose sensible capital requirements that would prevent any one financial institution from becoming so large and over-leveraged that it could put our economy on the brink of collapse or trigger the need for a federal bailout. It would also limit the government safety net to traditional banking operations, not exotic commodity trading.

If Wall Street mega-banks are really about free markets, they should support these modest proposals to restore market discipline while protecting American consumers, manufacturers and taxpayers

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