We've reached an incredible moment when Alan Greenspan, Michael Moore, FDIC head Sheila Bair and Elizabeth Warren are all singing the same tune. These four, and others, have formed a distinct choir that is calling for breaking up the big banks.
In the United States, three banks hold almost 34% of the nation's deposits, four banks issue 50% of the country's mortgages, and the five largest credit card lenders control 74% of the market. These companies have a stranglehold on our wallets. And as we've seen, when they make bad decisions, they can take the whole economy down with them.
Our wallets aren't all that's being strangled -- so is our nation's democracy, as Wall Street lobbyists and campaign contributions tighten their chokehold on Washington. You would think that after sending the economy south, needing billions in taxpayer bailouts, and handing out lavish bonuses, that these institutions would be too toxic for elected officials to hang with. Think again. The big banks and their lobbyists are as welcome on the Hill and in the White House as ever. And until average Americans begin to mobilize our primary currency -- our family, friends, and neighbors -- to move into the streets, we will watch the big banks become bigger, more powerful, and less accountable.
Now is the time to move toward a vision in which financial institutions are more accountable to and more controlled by the communities they serve. So, dust off your songbook, warm up your vocal chords, and join the band that is calling for breaking up so called "too big to fail" institutions.
Your first chance comes October 25-27 in Chicago as people from 20 states come together for a showdown with the nation's largest banks and their trade group, the American Bankers Association. Make your way to Chicago and let's ensure the message of "break up the big banks" is heard loud and clear.