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Bernie Sanders' Ideas About Destroying Wall Street Are So Bold That His Base Doesn't Even Care That They're Unworkable

If you're a banker afraid of very vague threats, Bernie Sanders should be scaring the sh!t out of you.

If you're an analyst at a very big bank worried about your future, you should be.

Because if your bank is really big, President Bernie Sanders is going to A) Put your bank on a list, and then B) Break up your bank.

How he's going to do it or whether it's even halfway feasible, well, those are still very much up in the air.

The point is, you should be terrified of Bernie because...Oh, you know what you've done.

Sanders took his "Feel The Bern" roadshow to Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, delivering a Wall Street policy speech that oscillated between secular liberal revival, regulatory history lesson and your most political uncle angrily reading "the papers" from his armchair.

Here's a taste of what the speech sounded like:

"To those on Wall Street who are listening; Greed is not good!"

“Here is a New Year’s Resolution that I will keep; If Wall Street won't end its greed, we will end Wall Street's greed for it.”

As Bernie has proven time and again, his feisty rhetoric plays like Eugene V. Debs opening up for The Grateful Dead, a soothsaying act for the anti-Wall Street crowd.

But as has become increasingly apparent, Bernie is somewhat lacking in policy minutiae with regard to exactly how he intends to destroy modern Wall Street.

Here are broad strokes of what we learned in today's speech.

Sanders pledges to cap ATM fees at $2 while simultaneously going after usurious rates. And for those that would still feel f@cked over by their banks, Bernie would like to offer you an alternative for basic banking services: The US Postal Service.

And in terms of the big stuff, Bernie would help foster the creation of a "21st Century Glass-Steagall Act" (his shout-out to Elizabeth Warren on this idea got one of the afternoon's loudest applause breaks), ban private sector bankers from sitting on the Federal Reserve in order to get the Fed to stop listening to banks about rates on reserves.

Sanders also warned that he cold use language in Dodd-Frank to break up the banks if he doesn't get his Glass-Steagall 2.0.

While almost none of what Sanders is proposing seems at first blush to be terribly passable in Congress, he did spend about 15 minutes of his speech reading headlines about Wall Street malfeasance, creating a kind of oratorical drumbeat that reminded the crowd how mad they are at the faceless "Banksters" that they have come to reflexively disdain.

Sanders also took about a dozen shots at Hillary Clinton, painting her as too close too Wall Street, misinformed on what Glass-Steagall did and also reminding everyone that her husband killed it while occupying the White House.

In the end, Sanders' speech was likely very palatable to his supporters as he played many of his greatest hits, but like any great performer, Bernie is going to need to start experimenting with new stuff that works.


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