One of the few amendments to the financial reform bill that had any teeth went down to defeat today.
A move to break up major Wall Street banks failed Thursday night by a vote of 61 to 33.
Three Republicans, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Ensign of Nevada, voted with 30 Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, in support of the provision. The author of the pending overall financial reform bill in the Senate, Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, voted against it.
The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), would have required megabanks to be broken down in size and capped so that their individual failure would not bring down the entire system.
Under Brown-Kaufman, no bank could hold more than 10 percent of the total amount of insured deposits, and a limit would have been placed on liabilities of a single bank to two percent of GDP.
If it had passed the top six banks would had to have been broken up to some degree.
Instead, TBTF remains, and that means another bailout at some point in the future.