smashed it proper he did

‘Sorry I Broke Glass Steagall’ Say Sandy Weill, A Little Late

sandy weill, original banksterOh LOOK who’s had a change of heart. Citibank ex-CEO Sandy Weill, architect of too big to fail and self-described shatterer of Glass Steagall, that’s who. Apparently — and it took him 40 years to realize this — it’s not a great idea to have unregulated behemoth financial institutions offering retail banking as well as investment banking because it puts the entire world’s economy at risk is bad for shareholders.

On Wednesday morning, the 79-year-old Weill, one of the 20th century’s most acquisitive bankers, stepped up to the mic to endorse … breaking up the banks. “What we should probably do is go split up investment banking from banking, have banks be deposit-takers, have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans, have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not too big to fail,” he remarked on CNBC

The best way to make money now as a bank, he elaborated, is as a pure-play company that needn’t worry about how its consumer and proprietary units potentially run afoul of new regulations.

So it’s official, America: The “too big to fail” bank was both unfair and ultimately ineffective. Bailed-out 2012 Citigroup probably wouldn’t disagree, as it is in the throes of a painful deleveraging and suffering amid the widespread belief that it cannot be best of breed in any one line of business. Bank of America (BAC), which bought both Merrill Lynch and MBNA, is ruing the day it took on Countrywide’s mortgage morass. JPMorgan Chase (JPM), captained by onetime Weill protégé Jamie Dimon, is bigger than it’s ever been; accordion out its name and you’ll find Bank One, Bear Stearns, Providian, and Washington Mutual. But the place is now so unwieldy and too-big-to-manage that a trader known as the “London Whale” threatened to bring down the entire company.

Sponsored Video

Chopping these banking conglomerates into smaller, more focused, less systemically hazardous shops is a laudable goal. Thank you, Mr. Weill, for your courageous declaration. Why couldn’t you have made it a decade ago?

Ah why indeed. Probably because he was too busy destroying consumer protection legislation so he could become  “baronially wealthy.” Or perhaps he was counting the billions from his golden parachute and sobbing about the loss of the corporate jet. But now — well, NOW times have changed. Back then, you could make money through destroying carefully crafted policies that had been in place for decades. These days, though, there may be clawbacks to executive pay. Protesters are showing up at meetings and causing a SCENE and it’s EMBARASSING. Shares have plummeted. And  now there may be regulations, which as we know, are un-American. So the best way to solve this problem  is to go on ahead and break up the banks to save the banks and restore shareholder profit to its glory days. And if it benefits the taxpayers too, well, that’s nice, but that’s not really the POINT, is it.

[Business Week]

Related

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.

90 comments

  1. weejee

    Reports that Sandy Weill has been into Alice's secret stash in 3, 2, 1…

    Tweedledee to replace Bernanke at the Fed and Tweedledum to take Geithner in Treasury if Mittens gets in. That will show the Brits how special our relationship is.

  2. bumfug

    Later that day, Mitt Romney announced that looking back, he thinks private equity firms probably shouldn't be allowed to suck businesses dry and send the devastated workers' jobs overseas to be done by slave labor. He explained, "It's simply bad for the bottom line".

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      "Besides, I'm running for president, for Pete's sake!"

      Query for the Wonkeratti: who the fuck is Pete?

        1. RadioBowels

          It's not as funny when you have to explain a joke. But here goes. He's in prison….buttfucking…HELLO.

  3. PuckStopsHere

    What we ought to be doing is breaking up guys like Sandy Weill and his buddies into their small component parts. Like the French did back in the day. Although in their case it was more of a "slicing up" than it was a "breaking up". Still, it's a good example for us all, I think.

  4. sbj1964

    Plain,and simple They broke it. The USA.I would now like to welcome our new Overlords the Chinese,Pucker up America! Fuck you, all the politicians,and greedy bastards that helped make this happen.Viva the 99%

    1. zombiehunter101

      SO well put! do u mind if i plagerize u? is it actually plagerism if i inform u ahead of timew?? lol

      1. hippie13

        I believe the term is, he is one big melanoma, implying the cancer that he is…as opposed to some sort of senior center.

  5. anniegetyerfun

    Well, at least HIS hindsight is 20/20. Goodness knows none of our politicians want to be held responsible for forcing more REGULATION down the throats of JOB MAKERS (banks).

  6. homotownrecords

    rich people have a bizarre view of how money works. it's almost abstract to them.

  7. SmutBoffin

    Sorry everybody! Now I am going back to eating caviar off of a supermodel.

    Sorry again!

    1. Typodong3

      Hes not waving in that picture, hes holding out his arm for the cuffs. Well.. a guy can dream…

  8. SayItWithWookies

    Lip service, motherfucker. Spend as much money lobbying to have Glass-Steagall reinstated as you did to have it shredded and you'll restore your credibility — deathbed confessions are a slender moral cover for a lifetime of rapacious acquisitiveness.

    1. anniegetyerfun

      A Lifetime of Rapacious Acquisitiveness might have been a better title choice for Romney's first book.

  9. hippie13

    All this means is Sandy has found a way to profit off the banks being broken up and taxpayers being made to pay.

  10. Goonemeritus

    Well I’m sure after making that excellent act of contrition he will do penance by giving his earnings to the poor and then he will wandering the earth helping his fellow man

    1. tessiee

      VINCENT: So you're serious, you're really gonna quit?
      JULES: Most definitely.
      VINCENT: So if you're quitting the life, what'll you do?
      JULES: That's what I've been sitting here contemplating. I've decided, basically, I'm gonna walk the earth.
      VINCENT: What do you mean, walk the earth?
      JULES: You know, like Caine in "KUNG FU", just go from town to town, meet people, and get in adventures.
      VINCENT: So you decided to be a bum?
      JULES: I'll just be Jules — no more, no less.
      VINCENT: No Jules, without a job, residence, or legal tender you're gonna be a bum!

    1. deanbooth

      With an outraged groan he tears her coat off again, splitting the shoulder of it, and hurls it across the room. It strikes against the shelf of worrytron’s glass collection, and there is a tinkle of shattering glass. Worrytron cries out as if wounded.
      [Music.]
      [Screen legend: "The Glass Seagull."]
      "My glass!—seagull…[She covers her face and turns away.]

  11. coolhandnuke

    Will this liver spot just join Mitt in London where they can feast on a five-course meal and cap a beautiful evening by gagging on some spotted dick.

    1. Jukesgrrl

      We're never going to see the tax money back, but I'd settle for all those fees I paid before I took what was left of my accounts and went to a credit union.

      What? The records were shredded?? I'm shocked, I say, SHOCKED!

  12. savethispatient

    This is all a great misunderstanding: we were meant to break the Glass Ceiling. What a mistake to make!

  13. Mittens Howell, III

    The best way to make money now as a bank is to find NEW ways to screw people out of their money.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      With almost all of the money in the hands of the 1%, some new games are called for. (Bernie Madoff was ahead of his time.)

  14. kittensdontlie

    Isn't it ironic that the past four years banks have merged at record pace and have gotten even more too-big-to-fail!! Good work conservatives… they're prayin' for a pre-election full-blown economy meltdown.

  15. Mittens Howell, III

    How about setting up a heavily regulated government bank that operates on principles of fairness, so all of us poors can jump ship and watch the rich fucks drown.

  16. Blunderthing

    If you are drowning I will throw you a flotation device, but only because I know that flotation device has a value only in its use and that you will ultimately purchase x amount of items over the projected course of a normal life span. It's always math.

  17. BarackMyWorld

    Oh, you incompetent bankers. This guy is just one mustache and a homely secretary away from being Mr. Dreysdale.

  18. Typodong3

    This smells to me of yet another banker who is smelling the shit hit the fan and is trying to avoid the brown liquid. Err.. the Santorum. Whatever.

  19. Mittens Howell, III

    Wooot! *SLAP*

    HOO! HOO! *SLAP*

    Having a ball, high fivin' that job creatah in the pic!!

    You the white man! Good Job you!! *SLAP*

  20. Not_So_Much

    Well, he's made his pile. Plus, if he can piss off Jamie Dimon — totally worth it.

  21. Blueb4sinrise

    Last two posts………and we'll get banned if we threaten the sons of bitches with physical violence.

    Be back in a bit……..
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    oooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmm
    aaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuoooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    ooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmm

  22. new_pic_for_NEWTer

    From Wikipedia:

    Islamic banking (or participant banking) (Arabic: المصرفية الإسلامية‎) is banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of sharia law and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Sharia prohibits the fixed or floating payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees (known as riba, or usury) for loans of money.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      I was wondering where the whole "Sharia Law is coming to eat your children" bullshit campaign came from … maybe it was banksters pulling the strings, via the countless Koch-funded fountains of teabaggery.

  23. docterry6973

    Since when do corporate managers care about the shareholders? Managers run businesses for the short-term benefit of the managers. Period.

  24. TribecaMike

    Being filthy rich means never having to say you're sorry, at least until you've squeezed out every dime you can.

  25. Biel_ze_Bubba

    I'm just sort of spitballing here, but by any chance, have the banksters started taking more of their compensation in cash, and less in stock? Because they'd be losing a shitload of money if they had shares in these banks, and that's just …. well, it's just not done.

  26. Maman

    Ok, which one of you was listening in at my house to the conversation between my husband and I? 'Fess up now and it will go easy on you.

  27. DahBoner

    "“What we should probably do is…"

    But then he stopped himself and laughed and added "But we're not gonna."

  28. owhatever

    That is okay, Sandy. Apology accepted. No real harm done. It was all that stock market gambling by billionaire Bruce Wayne that wrecked the economy, not anything that you did.

Comments are closed.