Cornyn, Toomey introduce bill to end ‘Too Big To Fail’

United States Senate
Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 11:58am

U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) today introduced the Taxpayer Protection and Responsible Resolution Act (TPRRA) to end taxpayer-funded bailouts for large financial institutions.

“In recent years, our nation’s economy has been haunted by the specter that the federal government will prop up failing financial institutions. This legislation, which I am proud to introduce with Sen. Toomey, will put an end to that threat,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Once these institutions know that the government can and will let them fail, they will be forced to become better stewards of their clients’ resources or risk going out of business, rather than becoming a taxpayer liability.”

“In 2008, we discovered we did not have a mechanism adequate to resolve the failure of a large, complex financial institution,” said Sen. Toomey. “Dodd-Frank attempted to solve this problem. Unfortunately, it only made matters worse by creating a dedicated fund to bailout failing financial firms and, in the process, institutionalized ‘too big to fail.’

“My bill with Senator Cornyn will instead repeal this provision of Dodd-Frank and ensure the failure of a large institution is handled in a predictable, orderly, and legal way that eliminates bailouts.

“Instituting a bankruptcy process, would allow the market to impose discipline on large financial institutions by pricing their risks appropriately.”

Background on the Taxpayer Protection and Responsible Resolution Act

The Taxpayer Protection and Responsible Resolution Act strengthens and modernizes U.S. bankruptcy laws to facilitate the resolution of a financial institution – and protect U.S. taxpayers from the bailouts that have come with bank failures in the past.

The legislation creates a new, specialized bankruptcy chapter (“Chapter 14”) for certain financial corporations and eliminates the “orderly liquidation authority” in Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act – an ad hoc process ripe for political manipulation that provides for yet another bailout.

Under Chapter 14, the failed bank would go bankrupt, leaving its owners and long-term creditors on the hook for its bad decisions, not taxpayers. To avoid systemic risk to the financial system, which is what has led the government to use bailouts in the past, Chapter 14 would enable all the failed bank’s assets and the liabilities that pose systemic risk to be transferred to a new “bridge” company. That bridge company would be owned by the bankrupt estate, but it would operate as a new, solvent, company that could go on meeting the failed bank’s obligations.
 

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