Mitt Romney is leading but his Wall Street policies lie somewhere between status quo proponent and Big Bank apologist.
His fellow candidate Jon Huntsman penned an op-ed for Fox News that’s been getting a lot of attention as it makes its way around the web – because he is the ONLY candidate talking about the fact that we’ve made our Too Big To Fail banks even Too Biggier.
In 2008, with the nation’s economy in crisis, Washington and Wall Street offered American taxpayers a Sophie’s Choice: spend hundreds of billions of dollars to save big banks from failure, or witness the collapse of our financial system and irreparable economic harm.
This was not only a betrayal of the public’s trust; it was also a betrayal of our free market system, which only works when every business plays by the same rules.
Taxpayers were promised those bailouts would be a one-time, emergency measure. Yet today, we can already see the outlines of the next financial crisis and bailouts.
The six largest financial institutions are significantly bigger than they were in 2008, having been encouraged to snap up Bear Stearns and other competitors at bargain prices.
These banks now have assets worth over 66% of gross domestic product – at least $9.4 trillion – up from 20% of GDP in the 1990s.
Huntsman’s solution is to break them up.
Now obviously Jon can’t win, at least not in this cycle. The hardcore in the party are convinced that he’s been turned – either by the Chinese, with whom he lived as ambassador or by Obama himself, the man who sent him there.
But the irony is that Jon may well be the most qualified to actually run the country. He’s level headed, has run a state as Governor, is worldly and forward-thinking and knows how to do business in a global economy. So of course, he’s running neck-and-neck with a can of stewed tomatoes in the back of the GOP pack.