If a bank is considered "too big to fail," maybe it's too big to exist. That's the reasoning behind new legislation sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, that would break up the 10 largest banks in the U.S.
Sanders says the reckless actions of big Wall Street financial institutions were largely responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. The government responded with a $700 billion bailout plan, arguing the banks could not be allowed to go under because it would devastate the economy.
The Sanders bill aims to eliminate that possibility by not allowing such large financial institutions to exist.
Sanders notes that the six largest U.S. financial institutions today have assets of over $9 trillion-- equal to about two-thirds of the nation's gross domestic product. They issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards, over half of all mortgages and hold more than 40 percent of all bank deposits in the U.S.