'This Week' Transcript: Goolsbee, Brown & Corker

TAPPER: Senator Brown, let me ask you a question about the legislation itself. I have a copy of it here, and it says right at the top of the bill that the purpose is to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end too-big-to-fail, and for other purposes. Senator Brown, does this bill end too-big-to-fail?

BROWN: Yes, it does. It can do it better, and Senator Corker was part of the negotiations that deal with the resolution authority. But I also--


TAPPER: Just to interject, the resolution authority is for the federal government to come in, and if there is a failing financial system, to take over and liquidate that firm. I'm sorry, Senator Brown, go on.

BROWN: But let me go back to something Bob just said, then I'll answer the question more specifically. You know, some Wall Street people have said the longer they can delay this, the more chance they can kill it. And I just don't want to see it delayed. We've been -- two years ago was the Bear Stearns problem. Ever since then, Senator Dodd in November put out a working draft. He then put teams together, including Senator Corker and Senator Warner and Gregg and others and Senator Dodd and Shelby, and it's -- and Senator Reed, and Jack Reed was part of that too -- so we've been working on this for a long time.

I hope that tomorrow night when we have a vote -- all we're asking tomorrow night is 60 votes. We need a Republican or two or three to simply say, let's move forward and debate, and then Bob Corker and I and others can offer any kinds of amendments we want. So I hope that they will not en masse -- and put it this way, I wish there were more Bob Corkers in the Senate Republican caucus, because he's been very open with negotiations. And then Senator Shelby and Senator -- Minority Leader McConnell pulled them back, I think on behalf of Wall Street lobbyists.

But put that aside, in terms of too-big-to-fail, we do have this resolution authority. It's well done, written by Senator Corker and Senator Dodd and some others bipartisanly. I think we need to do more to prevent too big, though. Too-big-to-fail is too big, and my amendment that Senator Kaufman from Delaware and I are offering next week or the week after will basically say that we'll put some limits on the size of these banks.

Let me give you one statistic, if I could, Jake. Fifteen years ago, the six -- the assets of the six largest banks in this country totaled 17 percent of GDP, 17 percent of GDP. The assets of the six largest banks in the United States today total 63 percent of GDP, and that's too -- we've got to deal with risk to be sure, but we've got to deal with the size of these banks, because if one of these banks is in serious trouble, it will have such a ripple effect on the whole economy. So we simply can't let them get this big and have this kind of economic power over Main Street, over a small business in Canton, Ohio, or a worker -- a manufacturing plant in Dayton. I mean, we just can't let this happen.

TAPPER: And Austan, Senator Brown is going to introduce an amendment that would cap the amount a bank can borrow to finance operations at 2 percent of GDP, 2 percent of the gross domestic product. Wouldn't that actually stop too-big-to-fail by preventing these banks from being too big? And why isn't the administration behind that?

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