Opinion

Sen. Sherrod Brown promises to be fair to Wall Street

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Banking and Finance Committee,Chuck Schumer,Sherrod Brown,Wall Street

Sen. Sherrod Brown promised that he'll be fair to Wall Street banks if he ascends to the chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee, as he is in line to do if Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., declines it in hopes of being majority leader.

"I will be fair," the Ohio Democrat told the Washington Examiner. "I work a lot with community banks. I've been to — JPMorgan Chase has 14,000 employees in one site in Columbus I've been there and done a town hall meeting. I'm not defensive. I'll work with them. I think, the largest banks, I think there's a danger of bigger bank concentration in this country and that's shared across the political spectrum."

Brown is working with Sen. David Vitter, R-La., to craft legislation that would shrink the biggest banks in the country, and they have 10 other Republican allies, according to Business Insider. The Dodd-Frank bill was supposed to solve the problem of some banks being "too big to fail," but it didn't.

"Yet five years after the crisis, several of the nation's largest banks are even larger," the Los Angeles Times reported. "Total assets at the nation's 10 biggest banking companies shot up 28 percent to $11.3 trillion, as of the end of June, federal regulators said."

Bank executives want the "friendly ear" of Schumer in the Banking Committee chair, but "Schumer does not want to be put in a position where any action he took to crack down on the financial services industry would hurt him with his deep-pocketed New Yorkers while any signal that he was going soft on Wall Street would hurt him with the ascendant progressive wing of the party," Politico reported last month.

During his 2012 re-election campaign, Brown ran as "a senator for the 99 percent of Americans who play by the rules and have had enough of Wall Street running the show" as he urged people to "stand with" Occupy Wall Street protesters.

"I don't take it personally," Brown said when asked why Wall Street executives prefer Schumer. "I don't know what they want."

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