Speed Reads

too big to fail

The Senate is considering a bill that would make bailouts more likely

Do you like it when our government uses enormous sums of tax dollars to bail out "too big to fail" financial institutions whose incompetent or shady business practices have gotten them into a heap of trouble? If so, the Senate has the bill for you!

So concludes a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office about legislation that goes to an initial vote in the Senate on Tuesday. Among other measures, the bill would exempt around two dozen banks valued between $50 billion and $250 billion from regulation by the Federal Reserve to which other financial companies are subject, a change the CBO says would make bailouts more likely.

"CBO's estimate of the bill's budgetary effect is subject to considerable uncertainty, in part because it depends on the probability in any year that a systematically important financial institution will fail," the CBO reported. "CBO estimates that the probability is small under current law and would be slightly greater under the legislation.” While the very largest banks, like Goldman Sachs, a past bailout recipient, have assets above $250 billion, the category does include other major banking institutions, including previous bailout subjects like SunTrust.