Martin O’Malley Channels Elizabeth Warren in Call for Breakup of Large U.S. Banks

85733864

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks to the media following a campaign event at the Sanctuary Pub on June 11, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa.

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley is calling for breaking up the biggest U.S. banks, revamping the Federal Reserve and pursuing criminal cases against financial institutions that have broken the law.

In a policy proposal released Thursday, the former Maryland Governor said five “megabanks” control too much of the economy and should be limited in size. The anti-Wall Street rhetoric in the 10-page policy paper echoes stands taken by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat who has rallied voters with a push for tougher financial regulation.

“We need to protect America’s economy,” O’Malley said in the proposal. “And we can only do it by implementing strong accountability and structural reforms that build upon the Dodd-Frank Act and put an end to too-big-to-fail, too-big-to-manage, and too-big-to-jail financial firms.”

O’Malley, who in opinion polls is trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, is embracing more stringent Wall Street oversight than other 2016 candidates thus far. The document references JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and U.S. Bancorp as the five biggest banks.

His proposal says President Barack Obama’s administration has relied too much on financial settlements rather than criminal prosecutions for banks that skirt the law.

O’Malley’s proposal would double funding for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission to support more criminal investigations and prosecutions.

O’Malley’s plan also calls for a new tax on high-frequency trading.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE