AFR: No More Taxpayer Bailouts


Washington, DC – Today, Tax Day, as Americans are all too aware of where their tax dollars are going, Americans for Financial Reform agrees that taxpayers should never again be on the hook for the mistakes made by the largest financial institutions. The misstatements about the pending bill by opponents of reform – especially from Sen. Mitch McConnell – are simply ripped from the playbook of Wall Street banks, who are spending $500 million a year to prevent big banks from being held accountable.

  • Fact Check: Big Banks and risky financial institutions, not taxpayers, are on the hook for failures. The fund is paid for entirely by large, risky financial corporations, not taxpayers. It is meant to protect taxpayers and require risky financial companies to pay the costs of their own failure. That’s why the banking industry opposes what is essentially a tax on their reckless gambling.
  • Fact Check: The fund will never be used to bail out a company. The only way the $50 billion Orderly Liquation Fund can be accessed is during the process of orderly liquidation. Thanks to the addition of Senator Shelby’s provision in the bill (see p. 54 of Manager’s Amendment), any company entering liquidation must be liquidated and wiped out.

Heather Booth, Director, Americans for Financial Reform: “Calling a bill that will rein in the big banks and hold Wall Street accountable a ‘bailout’ bill is a page right from the dishonest and untrustworthy playbook of Wall Street and opponents of reform. Perhaps these Senators have yet to read the legislation. If these vocal Senators truly want to end ‘too big to fail’, why don’t they support breaking up the banks? If they truly oppose bailouts, why don’t they support tougher rules to rein in the risky shadow banks like AIG?  If they truly want to prevent another financial crisis, why do they keep huddling with bank lobbyists behind closed doors? We know who they really represent – the big banks who are spending $1 million per member of Congress to kill reform.”