The Conservative Case For Bank Break-Ups

Simon Johnson shares how Romney-Ryan can gain the upper hand:

The big opportunity for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and for conservatives more broadly is to choose this moment to pivot against big banks. Ryan is plugged into the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, which has been consistently opposed to megabanks and the subsidies they attract through being too-big-to-fail (talk to Representative Ron Paul)….

The megabanks — such as Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)and Citigroup Inc. — have become today’s government-sponsored enterprises. They receive large, opaque and dangerous subsidies, encouraging them to engage in excessive risk taking. The question is how best to remove those subsidies.

Erick Erickson likes the idea, as do I:

It is absolutely a conservative imperative to break up the big banks. Conservatism should eschew public-private partnership at this level. The banks have, in effect, become an extension of the government in that they now exist in a wholly symbiotic and unhealthy relationship with Washington. If we want smaller government, we need smaller banks too.

Michael Brendan Dougherty notes the Dems have been utterly silent on this topic, though that doesn't mean he's holding his breath for Romney-Ryan to embrace a bank break-up:

To me this is a no-brainer for Republicans. Combining an attack on privilege and cronyism in a defense of a free and fair market could be extremely effective. Of course they’ll miss this opportunity. But I’ll give Johnson’s idea a little credit. Almost no one on the Democratic side is talking about this. Right now the only spokespeople for this kind of bank-reform are Republicans.