Sanders On Lew: Treasury Secretary Must Stand Up To ‘Incredible Wealth And Power’ On Wall Street

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Friday elaborated on his opposition to the nomination of Jack Lew to serve as the next secretary of the treasury, arguing that the post should be filled by someone who is willing to stand up to the “incredible wealth and power” on Wall Street. 

“Well, I think, the problem is that Wall Street right now, Thomas, is the most powerful entity in the United States of America,” Sanders told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts. “And I think we need people in a variety of positions, including the secretary of the treasury, who is prepared to stand up to their incredible wealth and power. Let me give you just one example. The six largest financial institutions in this country have assets equivalent to $9 trillion, which is two-thirds of the GDP of the United States of America. Three out of the four largest financial institutions today are bigger than they were before we bailed out because they were quote-unquote too big too fail.”

Sanders said the next treasury secretary should be committed to breaking up the most powerful financial institutions, something he doubts Lew will be willing to do.

“So, I think what we need is a secretary of treasury who is going to say, ‘Sorry, you guys are too big. You’re too powerful. We have to break you up. We have to bring more competition into the financial industry,'” Sanders said. “Do I think Jack Lew is going to be doing that? I do not.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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