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Even Barney Frank Thinks Bernie's Evil Wall Street Act Needs Work

Barney ain't feeling the Bernie.

The man who put the Frank in Dodd-Frank is NOT feeling "The Bern."

Former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank penned an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he openly questions what he sees as Bernie Sanders' overly simplistic approach to attacking Wall Street.

At the crux of Frank's critique is the notion that Bernie and his bros are quite fond of saying "Banks are too big! Break them Up!" none of them can seem to tell you how big is too big or what "breaking them up" actually entails.

Here's Barney...

There is a fundamental weakness in the position of those who insist that the only way to deal with financial institutions that are “too big to fail” is to break them up: their acknowledgment that the central question of how big is “too big” is too hard to answer. This is rarely made explicit, but it is universal.

And Barney named names...

Across the ideological range from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis branch of the Federal Reserve, the “break ’em up” advocates scrupulously avoid suggesting any size beyond which banks must not be allowed to exist.

Aside from reminding readers that Bernie isn't even technically a Democrat, Barney manages to get in a tight shot on registered Republican/bailout czar Kashkari.

But Barney saves the real lumber for the second paragraph.

The reason for this glaring omission — which renders their argument of little practical use for makers of actual decisions — is clear, once the focus is on the meaning of “too big to fail,” as opposed to its invocation as a general expression of distrust of banks. The issue is how to avoid a situation in which an institution has incurred so much debt that its inability to pay threatens the stability of the financial system. In other words, how do we prevent a repetition of the damage caused by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008? Therein lies their dilemma.

Essentially, even Barney Frank is now saying that he would like to hear a more little nuance from the Bernie campaign than "Banks bad!" And that makes him - Barney f@cking Frank! - a compromised centrist in the eyes of many Bernie Bros who seem just fine wallowing in the public pool of generalized, detail-free bank hatred.

Frank spends the rest of his column explaining and defending the untapped power of Dodd-Frank, so take that as you will, but this Barney/Bernie salvo casts an even brighter light on the Democratic party schism Hillary will have to furiously patch over once Bernie steps aside in the coming weeks or days.

Barney Frank: Sanders’s ‘too big to fail’ mantra ignores a huge problem [WaPo]


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