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.

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]

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  • 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.

  • 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".

    • RadioBowels

      Retroactively, of course.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

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

      Query for the Wonkeratti: who the fuck is Pete?

  • sudsmckenzie

    In a related story, Bernie Madoff won his weekly Canasta tournament.

    • RadioBowels

      Do you mean Jenny Madoff?

      • sudsmckenzie

        no. I didnt

        • RadioBowels

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

  • Callyson

    Mistakes were made.

  • 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.

    • MosesInvests

      With *votes*, of course.

  • Shitty father of Shitty Bank sorry he's was so Shitty.

    • Callyson

      The Shitty never sleeps.

  • 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%

    • zombiehunter101

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

  • elfgoldsackring

    "Gee, can't a gal change her mind once in a while?"

  • SorosBot

    That's nice. Now where is the ritual seppuku?

  • Bohener would kill for that tan.

    • bumfug

      He's 79 – I think that's one big age spot.

      • Oops…did I just make a Mitt Romney joke?

      • 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.

        • "The Liver Spot" would be a great senior center name for those with a sense of humor.

          • Serving bloody Marys using Geritol instead of Worcestershire Sauce?

    • tessiee

      "Bohener would kill for that tan."

      And probably has.

  • 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).

  • homotownrecords

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

  • Fail Weill.

  • SmutBoffin

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

    Sorry again!

    • Typodong3

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

  • 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.

    • emmelemm

      Not to the Catholics.

      • Including most of our Supreme Courtesans.

    • anniegetyerfun

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

  • hippie13

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

  • hippie13

    What do we do with a witch?

  • 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

    • anniegetyerfun

      Ha, like anyone has ever done that!

      What, really? Oh.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        Rarely attempted these days. (It turned out to be surprisingly dangerous.)

    • 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!

  • worrytron

    HE'S who broke my glass seagull????? DANGIT. I let ONE banker into my house….

    • 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.
      [Screen legend: "The Glass Seagull."]
      "My glass!—seagull…[She covers her face and turns away.]

  • Weill was born the same year Glass-Steagall was enacted. The irony is uh, rich.

  • 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.

  • neiltheblaze

    Next he'll be abandoning Ayn Rand.

    • Asshole Shrugged?

      • Callyson

        Atlas Thugged.

      • BoatOfVelociraptors

        Andrea Hugged?

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    OK. I agree. Can we have our money back now?

    • 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!

  • rickmaci

    Fish rots from the head down. Looks like the same applies to banks.

  • RadioBowels

    Has he run this by Gramm, Leach and Bliley yet?

    • MosesInvests

      No, but he has run it by Dewey, Cheatham and Howe.

    • DahBoner

      Good point!

      Leaches can be therapeutic…

  • savethispatient

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

  • Mittens Howell, III

    Break up the banks? Sure, grab your pitchforks and torches folks!

  • 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.

    • 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.)

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Where's Bernie Madoff when you need him?

  • 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.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      God help you if they calculate x, and decide you aren't worth it.

      • Blunderthing

        I hear ya.

  • BarackMyWorld

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

  • 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.

  • 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*

    • DahBoner

      The clouds roll back to reveal Steve Jobs…

      You called???

  • Schmannnity

    After his statement, Weill floated gently back to earth on his golden parachute.

    • BlueStateLibel

      No, I think he was that brown thing that floated back to the top.

  • Not_So_Much

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

  • Blueb4sinrise

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

    Be back in a bit……..

    • BoatOfVelociraptors

      This textual portrayal of dubstep needs more w's.

  • 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.

    • anniegetyerfun

      Yeah, but they just tack fees onto their loans and pretend it's not interest.

      • new_pic_for_NEWTer

        Like Bank of America doesn't…

    • 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.

  • Nostrildamus

    Oops, my bad. Here's a nickle for your apple, little girl.

  • docterry6973

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

  • TribecaMike

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

  • 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.

  • Sandy Weill won't be the first one to decorate a lamp post but he should get the hoist pretty quickly.

  • 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.

  • mosjef

    Oh, you want your money back? Not for a Weill.

  • Angry_Marmot

    A Weill example of a human being. I almost Brechted.

  • DahBoner

    "“What we should probably do is…"

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

  • BZ1

    a little late in the game to get some insight into the mess you created…

  • ttommyunger

    You want to make a rich man laugh: mention "trickle down".

  • 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.

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