Neel Kashkari is the new President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. He administered the T.A.R.P during Bush and Obama and has some thoughts about shrinking the mega-banks.(More)
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He gave a long (42 minutes) interview to MPR which you can listen to here. He is a Republican but says that his experience during the crash changed him from an unfettered free marketeer philosophy to a philosophy of paraphrasing here, “we need to get some regulations here to minimize risk to the taxpayers.”
Since breaking up too big to fail is a campaign theme, I think that listening to and learning from someone who was intimately involved in T.A.R.P. and who thinks more needs to be done is a good idea.
You can watch or read his speech Lessons from the Crisis: Ending Too Big to Fail
I believe we must begin this work now and give serious consideration to a range of options, including the following:
Breaking up large banks into smaller, less connected, less important entities.
Turning large banks into public utilities by forcing them to hold so much capital that they virtually can’t fail (with regulation akin to that of a nuclear power plant).
Taxing leverage throughout the financial system to reduce systemic risks wherever they lie.
Kashkari and the Minneapolis Fed are holding a symposium on April 4 on ending #TBTF. The symposium is the first in a series. It will be open to the media and live-streamed for the public. There is also a town hall that evening to address questions from the public.
Listening to Kashkari and seeing how open and transparent the Minneapolis Fed process is, I am encouraged. He intends to try and educate congress and the public about the options for dealing with “Too Big To Fail.” Too many of the campaign speeches cannot or do not address this issue with any specificity or concrete plans. I intend to use this process to educate myself so that my future emails to my congressional representatives will be more educated and informed. I view dealing with the banks as a bipartisan issue and I think Kashkari has a process for bringing people to the table who can recommend real action steps.