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July 29, 2013

Opinion: Put 'too big to fail' criticism to rest

Some of our critics got it partly right.

The legislation we supported in 2010 does create death panels. But they found them in the wrong place. The U.S. federal government now has the power to terminate the lives of large, heavily indebted financial institutions — not frail, gravely ill old people.

Nearly five years ago, then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke informed the leaders of Congress, including us, that they needed hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to stave off a global economic meltdown. With the homes, retirements and jobs of millions of Americans at stake, we took action. But we also set out to reform our antiquated regulatory system and develop a new framework that provided regulators with the tools they needed to help prevent any future economic crisis — and end taxpayer bailouts and the concept of too big to fail.

The Dodd-Frank Act is clear: Not only is there no legal authority to use public money to keep a failing entity in business, the law forbids it.”

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