Democrats Vote To Continue Government Interventions In Financial Markets
November 17, 2009 -
- During consideration of the Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009, Financial Services Committee Democrats voted against an amendment that would bring an end to the era of taxpayer bailouts by prohibiting federal agencies from using taxpayer funds to rescue financial institutions.
The amendment, offered by Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN), would send a clear message to the market, that no firm is considered "too big to fail." Adopting a no bailout message would incentivize creditors and counterparties to properly monitor their credit exposure, promoting greater market discipline.
Since 2008, the federal government has injected trillions of dollars to prop up failing firms. The U.S. Treasury Department, FDIC and Federal Reserve used a number of tools, in addition to capital investments, to bail out various firms and their creditors. This includes lending taxpayer funds against the assets of a company, as the government did with Fannie, Freddie, AIG, Chrysler, and GM; selling or transferring a company's assets, as the government did with AIG; purchasing the assets of a company, as the government did with AIG; and guaranteeing a company's obligations, as the government did with Bear Stearns, AIG, Citigroup, and Bank of America.
All of these actions put the taxpayer at risk for unprecedented losses and all of them would have been prohibited by the Jenkins-Paulsen amendment.
The amendment was defeated on a vote of 27 to 40. Click here to view the vote tally.