Only a Tiny Percentage of Americans Opposed to Breaking Up Big Banks

George Washington's picture

A new Huffington Post/YouGov poll finds:

Sixty-one percent of respondents said that banks and other financial institutions have become too large and powerful ....

A Rasmussen poll conducted last month found that:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 50% of U.S. Adults favor a plan to break up the 12 megabanks, which currently control about 69% of the banking industry. Twenty-three percent (23%) oppose breaking up the largest banks, while another 27% are undecided.

While polls show that Democrats favor breaking up the big banks more than Republicans, many Republicans point out that the big banks would fail on their own if the government stopped bailing them out. Indeed, a Harris poll from last year shows that 87% of Republicans are against bank bailouts. In other words, the percentage of Americans who favor breaking up the big banks - either directly through government intervention or indirectly by pulling the plug on their taxpayer life support - is probably more like 90-99%.

The 27% of Americans who don't yet have enough information to decide whether they are for directly breaking up the big banks may want to note that the following top economists and financial experts believe that the economy cannot recover unless the big, insolvent banks are broken up in an orderly fashion:

  • Current Vice Chair and director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – and former 20-year President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – Thomas Hoenig (and see this)
  • Former Federal Reserve Bank of New York economist and Salomon Brothers vice chairman, Henry Kaufman
  • Dean and professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School, and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, R. Glenn Hubbard
  • Former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund, Simon Johnson (and see this)
  • The leading monetary economist and co-author with Milton Friedman of the leading treatise on the Great Depression, Anna Schwartz
  • Economics professor and senior regulator during the S & L crisis, William K. Black
  • Professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the Chicago Booth School of Business, Luigi Zingales
  • The Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Harvey Rosenblum
  • Director, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, and Professor of Economics, University of Bonn, Martin Hellwig

And the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank – and former Goldman Sachs chief economist – William Dudley says that we should not tolerate a financial system in which certain financial institutions are deemed to be too big to fail.

Federal Reserve Board governor Daniel Tarullo also backs a cap on the size of banks, and Former Treasury secretary under Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Nicolas Brady, says that we need to put a cap on leverage.

The undecideds may also want to note that many top bankers are themselves calling for a break up, including:

  • Former managing director of Goldman Sachs – and head of the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London- Nomi Prins
  • Numerous other bankers within the mega-banks (see this, for example)
  • Founder and chairman of Signature Bank, Scott Shay
  • Former Natwest and Schroders investment banker, Philip Augar
  • The President of the Independent Community Bankers of America, Camden Fine

Click here for background on why so many top bankers, economists, financial experts and politicians say that the big banks should be broken up.

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perelmanfan's picture

Also, most Americans dislike being massive diabetic lardasses. If dislike solved anything, they'd be thin, not to mention smart and rich. When the majority of Americans take one specific, decisive, jiggling step away from the trough, I'll be impressed.  

DJ Happy Ending's picture

Exactly. Words and actions are very different.

Winston Smith 2009's picture

"Only a Tiny Percentage of Americans Opposed to Breaking Up Big Banks"

Since when did what voters want become relevant to how the government handles the TBTF banks that own it?

"50% of U.S. Adults favor a plan to break up the 12 megabanks, which currently control about 69% of the banking industry. Twenty-three percent (23%) oppose breaking up the largest banks, while another 27% are undecided."

That's about right, 50% have some inkling about what's actually going on, 23% are clueless, and 27% can't make up their minds for some reason.

camaro68ss's picture

What can i say, the people love there slave masters

pbr streetgang's picture

Drop all remaining ordinance(silver intel) on my pos ..repeat drop all ordinance on my pos...its a lovely f!@#$&& war  willie peter

bagehot99's picture

Fisher (Dallas Fed) on Bloomberg right now saying they have an unfair advantage. And they're too big. And they're being subsidized.

He's also the only one voting against QE4ever.......

IamtheREALmario's picture

But they cannot do it because the big banks are holding the country and all of the politicians hostage. So, how do we save the people from the banks?

chunga's picture

Here's an idea...start by destroying the Secret Electronic Mortgage Society known as the MERS.

RI General Assembly Press Release Anti MERS Bill Picks Up Steam 2103 S 0547

I don't know where this will go but it's worth a shot.

"STATE HOUSE -- Citing irregularities with the recording of mortgages and assignments that negatively impact municipalities and consumers, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin has requested the introduction of legislation to require that all transfers of a mortgage interest on residential property be recorded to provide a clean chain of title."


"The changing of servicing and subservicing rights within the lending history often leaves the borrowers confused regarding which entity they are supposed to be dealing with and why," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "The Legislation is designed to give borrowers a public record of who ultimately owns their loans, increasing the ability of homeowners to negotiate with their lenders and their ability to have full knowledge of their rights, counterclaims and defenses if they are faced with litigation."

MERS not only beats the check on recording fees all over this country, but it also corrupts Land Records, enables securities fraud, tax evasion, illegal name it. If it's bad MERS does it.

waterhorse's picture

That's great news, but don't think for one moment that the banksters will allow their Chuckie-like off-spring (MERS) to die.

antisepticWipe's picture

Good stuff by chunga, it won't happen if we don't try.

The AG's office really pounded Hultman in that audio.

pbr streetgang's picture

will a honest reliable source please provide intel on the fed reserve( whores of babylon) 100 year charter due to expire this year ,

pbr streetgang's picture

flies in the vasoline. Sometimes........

Lordflin's picture

The primary problem with banks is their control over monetary policy. So long as they can make the money they can make the rules... The one leads directly to the other. This, of course, will not come to an end voluntarily as those that derive power from this mechanism will bring the world down around us rather than relinquish that power. Then you have the class of citizens at the other end of the financial spectrum who live off the detritus of this financial corruption, and have been molded into a weapon by the banking class and turned lose on the rest of us. The producers are caught between the parasites and the scavengers.

This system will not correct without major cataclysm...

rosiescenario's picture

There was a recent reminder for us of who is really running the government with the Monsanto Protection Act of 2013.


As with roaches, for every one of these that comes into the light, there are 10,000 more unseen.


So, public opinion as influencing what elected officials actually do is a quaint concept....just as those old fashioned usery laws.

Widowmaker's picture


Nothing could be simpler to end all the ills of fuckup-finance.

Fraud cowers protected behind the Fed, unabated.

Crime is moot by the Fed.

Broken markets worldwide are directly the product of the Fed.


Sigep0612's picture

Level the playing field.  Some of my ideas are

1.  Break up the bigs OR tell them that they no longer have FDIC insurance.  Let's see how quickly depositors leave those institutions.   With 7000 banks in this country and electronic banking ,businesses and individuals have plenty of choices.

2.  Require Bigs to divest themselves of any branch office in a city or county of less than 250,000.  The bigs are like Walmart.  They build branches (store) in a small communities and have pricing power.  The community banks get crushed and eventually merge with another bank which starts the cycle all over again.  Community Banks on their own can thrive and serve their market area but not when the bigs are in town.

3.  Require ALL high schools in America to provide two classes on personal finance as a requirement for graduation.  One class on deposit products and the other on loan products.  24% of people between 18-29 do not have a checking account because they can't understand them.  But the other 76% of that age group who do have a checkng account are the highest payers of bank overdraft fees.    

Neo1's picture



The people have it within their power to strip the Fed of its powers, rescind private credit and get the bankers to pay off the National Debt should Congress fail to act. The key to all this is 12 USC 411, which declares that Federal Reserve notes shall be redeemed in lawful money at any Federal Reserve bank. Lawful money is defined as all the coins, notes, bills, bonds and securities of the United States: 'Julliard v. Greenman' 110 U.S. 421, 448 (1884); whereas public money is the lawful money declared by Congress as a legal tender for debts (31 USC 5103); 524 F.2d 629 (1974). Anyone can present Federal Reserve notes to any Federal Reserve bank and demand redemption in public money -- i.e., legal tender United States notes and coins. A Federal Reserve note is a fixed obligation or evidence of indebtedness which pledges redemption (12 USC 411) in public money to the note holder. The Fed maintains a ready supply of United States notes in hundred dollar denominations for redemption purposes should it be required, and coins are available to satisfy claims for smaller amounts. However, should the general public decide to redeem large amounts of private credit for public money, a financial melt-down within the Fed would quickly occur. Convincing Congress to Abolish the Fed

A Banksters defeatism (realization of defeat) nightmare, Being forced to Return to Real Money=United States Note=Lawful Money, Use the Remedy within the Federal Reserve Act. Redeemed 12USC411 –

Refusal Penalty 12USC501a – Stop being a Slave!!!!!! This is Tax Free Money!!!!!!

Milestones's picture

A very informative post. Thank you Neo1. Excellent read.      Milestones

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

You assume the rule of law applies still and the people who are in charge on the Federal level to enforce the laws actual exist to enforce the laws. THEY DON'T.  Their only job is to protect interests that their paychecks are dependent upon. It ain't you and me that cut that check anymore even though the people cutting the check are picking our pockets for the money to pay them.


Unless there is a house cleaning nothing changes. If you ain't willing to do nothing to create change bend over and take it like a man.

Marley's picture

"the economy cannot recover unless the big, insolvent banks are broken up in an orderly fashion"

Fuck that, how about imprisoning these corporate persons?

rsnoble's picture

Break them up?  With heavy construction equipment hopefully.  Grind them to pieces and pave roads with them.  Everyone above the 50th floors won't be allowed to leave.

q99x2's picture

The survey is a blatant communist plot. Arrest Bernanke. Re-open Nuremberg and start with Geithner. Then Blankfein, Dimon and Pandit. Call me when you get to Blankfein.

bourbondave's picture

How do you get to 90-99% from these poll numbers?

George Washington's picture

The Harris polls says 87% of Republicans, 87% of independents and 81% of Dems are against bailouts.

And you have 50% are for directly breaking up banks - Dems are most in favor of this.

So you're getting into the 80% for sure, probably 90% if you phrase the poll question right.

DaveyJones's picture

I hear it's a hundred percent of congo apes and dolphins

Racer's picture

So the umbilical cord that feeds money to the politicians would be cut? Never ever would that happen willingly... it needs to be severed either by demand from the people (obviously ignored unless by force) or we the people must starve the beast by not participating... do not get into debt and do not store any money in the banksters hands

Downtoolong's picture

I lean with the Republicans on this one. Take away the subsidies and let true economics take it's course. The last thing I want to see is government intervening in the break-up (actually break down) process which will then give the big banks an excuse for their inevitable failure.

spinone's picture

Lets see how many banks are left when we stop subsidies, enforce regulations, and prosecute crimes.

michigan independant's picture

I lean with the Republicans on this one.

You can only count them with two hands now. They have been relegated to local duty's since 1980

Ghordius's picture

as an utter outsider, my two cents: they have lost the female vote and the urban vote - the latter is more important, then now the US is more urbanized than Europe - I understand Andrew Jackson wrote something about this

tango's picture

It's never been red vs blue.  Instead it's  rural vs urban.  The call for an overhaul of the Electoral college into a Nebraska/Maine type (votes awarded by district with 2 awarded to the one who carried the state) has ended.  The reality is that the GOP would win every election.  Looking at an election map of districts shows almost all red with patches of blue.  But these blue patches are heavily populated and  overwhelmingly partisan - in the 70 to 80% range.  So the story is not female or Hispanic or Jewish voters - it's city vs country.    

boogerbently's picture

Having lost their soul leaning so far left, they have lost their base.

new game's picture


tango's picture

The whole article is a sham in that public opinion is an indicator of best policies.  I dare say the vast majority also want less taxes (on themselves), more taxes (on others),  more Social, Medicare, "free" college, cheap energy., the redistribution of wealth from the "rich" (an amorphous term) and other such nonsense.   This same majority can most likely recall details of American Idol but not their Rep in Congress.   They can rhapsodize over the "good old days" while spending to the max on their second credit card as they faithfully purchase their PEOPLE magazine.  We'd be in a load of trouble is we simply followed majority opinion. 

The trouble is GW's (and judging from the remarks) and ZH posters mixing of "investment banks" (lol) with all banks - local, community or regional.  Or the absurdity of "non-usary" financial transactions You take a good idea - stop huge institutions from engaging in risky behavior that leads to public money rescue - and radicalize it to the point where it loses support.

JOYFUL's picture

Shouldn't this have come out April 1st? Was there some kind of delay due to needing to collect the support of every complicit cog in the crony capitalist cartel for this message?

Break up the banks...into what? Smaller particles of flesh-eating viral plague - to continue to run amok throughout society?

Not on your life! Usury banking and it's debt slavery economic model can only be defeated through applications of silver\gold solutions to kill the pestilent parasite in the body politic -  forever.

Ghordius's picture

I respectfully disagree, milord Joyful

we are talking here about 28 transnational monstrosities with a combined balance sheet of 41T and employing 3.7m people

the US "Financial Dreadnoughts": average of 250'000 employees - combined 1.2m employees and 9T of assets

the UK "Financial Dreadnoughts": average of 150'000 employees - combined 650k employees and 8T of assets

they lead the "arms race", they are too big to fail, too big to be prosecuted, too big to care (as their CEOs clearly demonstrate)

of course they, as most megacorporations, don't really pay taxes - but the most important fact for me is that they don't have to care about any laws and any consequences

small banks can fail - and can be allowed to fail

those 12 US megabanks have a stranglehold on US politics and on the FED, and so on the world

a few of them have a stranglehold on paper gold and silver

and five of them control 80% of the other problem: the derivatives ocean

JOYFUL's picture

EXACTLY WHAT do you disagree with?

The premise that 'reformism' of this type(which is tailor-made to keep the hegemony of the parasitical moneypower class intact - via periodic changes to the packaging ="NEW & IMPROVED USURY BANKING\DEBT SLAVERY")is inherently flawed?

Or do you disagree with the premise that the usury banking model of debt finance and it's crony capitalist enablers have served the Republic poorly over the course of some 200+ years?

While your uniquely contintental viewpoint sometimes brings clarity to situations on which you comment, in this case it is uniquely myopic, and has the added piquancy of misdirectly the conversation...deliberately or not, I cannot judge...

American Presidents who have gone up against the moneypower in the course of fulflling their duty to their electorates have been sequentially assassinated or otherwise eliminated(with the exception of Andrew Jackson) in the course of so, a half century after the last one who dared make that fateful effort, we are long past the time when it is possible to sit in one's bathtub, floating rubber docks of reformism such as 'bank reform' or other legislative sleight of hands which are as impossible to fulfil as a Ron Paul Presidency, as serve similarily only to divert and distract patriots from rising against their oppressors whilst opportunity still allows.

The names on the very strange list supplied by this article read like a veritable rogues' gallery of those most complicit in the downfall of the you seek to add yours to it? Best to retreat to your own patch, methinks, "Citizen Ghordius" and reflect on the forthcoming remake of revolution on your own side of the pond...

France is falling, and the descent in to another era of chaos is not at all far off...but your Eurocentric gaze will not cotton on to that reality until heads begin to roll, and "Comrade Ghordius" is forced to choose between running with the crowd or away from fast as his Dantonesque legs may carry him!

Ghordius's picture

I disagree on this concept: "Usury banking and it's debt slavery economic model" on a very simple point of view

big companies don't pay taxes - small companies do

big banks distort everything - small banks borrow and lend

big banks are bailed out and unrepentant - small banks are going broke in great numbers

I agree with you on "moneypower", but I am indeed unable to see an alternative to banking, lending and borrowing, which are imho natural human endeavours and actions

meanwhile "moneypower" is strong because it's an oligopoly, a cartel, a trust

call me statist, but trusts are to be busted, cartels are to be broken - would Andrew Jackson really disagree with me on this?

yes, lots of Americans agree with Ron Paul and would like to see the FED eliminated - fine for me, go ahead

restore the Dollar to gold backing? free banking? fine for me, just do it

yet imho it's the current situation of megabank cancer that is the "Greater Evil" - and I see that megacorporations have somehow been able to defend their undefensible position through endless propaganda - headed by the Great Murdoch

one point of this propaganda is that it's always the state's fault, and all corporations are basically angels, glossing over the size and concentration issue

a republic? made out of citizens or made out of great corporations? they are both "people", I understand, though they differ in size

JOYFUL's picture

Although I'm still unclear on your specific stand relating to usury banking(it appears to be a model you support -but correct me if wrong!)what is it about 'corporations' -mega or otherwise- that distracts your attention from the obvious...

in the current highly refined model of 'capitalism' which the west now 'enjoys\suffers under, the power of the State is usurped into the hands of those who control it's finances, and leverage their concentrations of capital into control of the politico-judiciary class and it's media hangers-on...

like the exoskeleton of the parasitised Thitarodes(ghost moth) in which Ophiocordyceps sinensis grows it's fruiting body,  the body politic of the western world is a hollowed out home for  this phalanx of predators fronting for the Pharisees...functionally paralysized markets, magistrates, and members of the legislative estate all of a kind. You will not blow new life into this shell with the hot air of 'end corporate malfeasance and our world will return to balance and harmony' nonsense...we are far past that pipedream.

As far as 'what is to be done?'...that's exactly what I would wish to see a conclave of our best and brightest here converse about...finally free of the dross of all ideoligic and time-worn points of debate which hold us back from determining our own fates... which we can best do by refusing to bow to the expediency of other people's notions of how to go about the business of resisting tyranny!

Ghordius's picture

"we are far past that pipedream" - Nations are born, grow, decay and are reborn again - I know, it's a continental perspective from our revolutions, particularly from the 1848 experience and two world wars

DaveyJones's picture

mega bank     mega stranglehold.

I wonder if they're related?

Ghordius's picture

"the power of the State is usurped into the hands of those who control it's finances, and leverage their concentrations of capital into control of the politico-judiciary class and it's media hangers-on"

I agree on this - and the lever to this is: "Too Big", "Too Concentrated", "Systemically Critical", "SHTF if unsupported"

are they too big because they suck from the tit of the state or do they suck on the tit of the state because they are too big?

I tend to the latter, and don't think they are willing to "shrink away" - as little as I don't think Murdoch will rest until he gets the last conservative media outlet in Europe in order to complete his empire

JOYFUL's picture

I see that I have hitherto failed to make my point clearly enough...allow me another attempt, Citizen G.

Very large they banks, GE, Thysson,you name it, are not whelps of the motherstate... they are, in their ownership and their methods of operating, foreign bodies, which having penetrated into the bloodstream of the social organism, have deflected the balanced flow of resources which it carries to nourish nodes of their own virulent grow and thrive at the expense and ultimate demise of the host...

that is exactly what the banks, munitions makers and pharmaceutical cartel have accomplished...their melding with the host is so complete that there is no chance of separation...and they are no longer recognized by the resident white cells as the enemy they indeed are. Only a struggle of the most profound nature will now succeed in defending us from their complete conquest.

Pseudo Anonym's picture

nothing wrong with your analogy;  in fact, it depicts your view clearly

exoskeleton of the parasitised Thitarodes(ghost moth) in which Ophiocordyceps sinensis

however, i am not clear why you feel we would need our brightest to get society rid of the above mentioned parasites

As far as 'what is to be done?'...that's exactly what I would wish to see a conclave of our best and brightest here converse about...

i guess what i struggle with is the reality that you can break up the banking cartel of corporations and governments but that still leaves the the same individuals that benefited from the fractional reserve central banking and usury scam with all the capital and wealth that they (the money changers) were able to siphon off the markets up until the break up of the cartels.  the corporations are just shells used by the banking families to acquire tangible wealth and most importantly - control over markets and people.  unless these aristocratic banking families are stripped of the stolen capital and eliminated, nothing would fundamentally change other than perhaps the color of the scheme for as long as the same private players get to keep their unjust gains and capital.

JOYFUL's picture

To be clear, a conclave of the best and brightest amongst us here...

is a wish of longstanding on my part...

not for the purpose you mentioned, but rather, as a means of mutually contributing to a widened perspective on how to best weather the coming storm... so that some, at least, of our once great people(s)may be sufficiently sheltered from it to be able to carry forward the project of our forbears, and remember in their turn the manner in which we stayed loyal to their tenacious desire for the face of all those who would try to take it away.