Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to break apart giant financial companies including J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffett's conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, arguing their individual sizes expose the U.S. economy to too much risk.
The Vermont independent and former presidential candidate introduced a bill Wednesday that would require the breakup of any financial company that has a total exposure of greater than 3 percent of gross domestic product. Based on that threshold, which is $584 billion, six banks and the four nonbanks would have to split up.
The banks are J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman and Morgan Stanley. The nonbanks are Berkshire as well as Prudential Financial, MetLife and American International Group.
"No financial institution should be so large that its failure would cause catastrophic risk to millions of Americans or to our nation's economic well being," Sanders said in a statement. "We must end, once and for all, the scheme that is nothing more than a free insurance policy for Wall Street: the policy of 'too big to fail.'"
The bill is co-sponsored in the House by California Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman. "By breaking up these institutions long before they face a crisis, we ensure a healthy financial system where medium-sized institutions can compete in the free market," Sherman said in a statement.