This post originally appeared on Balloon Juice.
Via Memeorandum, this interview with FDIC
Chairman Sheila Bair, which had this snippet
If this had been law prior to 2008, would we have seen the bailouts that took place? Would we have seen capital injections into banks?
BAIR: No. You could not do an AIG, Bear Stearns, or any of that. Those were all one-off things, capital or asset guarantee transactions. This bill would only allow system-wide liquidity support which could not be targeted at an individual firm. You can’t do capital investments at all, period. It’s only liquidity support. No more capital investments. That’s banned under all circumstances.
You can do systemwide liquidity support. But you can’t do anything on an individual basis. They would have to be generally available.
Do you see any way left for the government to bail out a financial institution?
BAIR: No, and that’s the whole idea. It was too easy for institutions to come and ask for help. They aren’t going to do that. This gives us a response: “Fine, we will take all these essential services and put them in a bridge bank. We will keep them running while your shareholders and debtors take all your losses. And oh, by the way, we are getting rid of your board and you, too.”
The whole idea is to get market discipline back.
That’s what ending “too big to fail means.” It means debtors and shareholders understanding their money is at risk and especially the debtholders starting to look at the balance sheet of these big institutions and asking their own hard questions instead of relying on government support.
When Mitch McConnell took to the cameras spewing his Frank Luntz talking points, this is what pissed me off the most (once you get past the instant “CAN’T YOU MOTHERFUCKERS EVER TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT ANYTHING!”)- what he was doing was trying to kill a bill that would end the bailouts. And if he succeeded, he would be doing the banksters bidding.
They don’t want what Bair just described. They like things just the way it is right now- they can put a gun to the head of the economy and tell us “If I go down, I’m taking everyone of you with me.” They like how things went down the last time- Goldman got every penny off their bets with AIG, all paid for by you and me. Then they went around and lavished huge bonuses on themselves when they weren’t busy writing whiny op-eds about how unfair it is everyone hates them.
With this bill, if the legislators and regulators have it right, these scumbags screw up again, they get wiped out. Shareholders get destroyed, and the board is replaced.
Wall Street and the bankstas don’t want that- which is why they flew Cornyn and McConnell to NY, told them they would bankroll the Republicans if only they killed this bill, and McConnell went right to the Senate podium and lied his ass off. Not only was he lying, but he was doing everything he could to make sure there would be bailouts forever. Understand what he was doing.
It’s just that simple. McConnell was selling the country and the American taxpayer down the river for a chance at flooding the airwaves with campaign ads funded by Wall Street, made possible by the right wing Supreme Court.