‘Too Big to Fail Cannot Be Eliminated’

by Nicole Gelinas

I was surprised to see this sentence nestled in a Peter Wallison piece that criticized Jon Huntsman’s “ending-too-big-to-fail” proposal

Since TBTF cannot be eliminated, there are policies the government can adopt that will mitigate its effects. [Bold, underline, and italics mine.]

Do conservatives agree with Wallison’s assertion that “too big to fail cannot be eliminated”?

If so, isn’t the financial industry’s permanent holiday from the consistent rule of law something that represents a huge crisis, one that largely overshadows other campaign issues? 

I think that “too big to fail” can be eliminated. I’m not going to get in the details now, except to say that Huntsman, by acknowledging the problem head-on, is making a good start.

Mitt Romney, by contrast, has tried to run away from the issue. And I don’t think Gingrich has said much, other than that he’d like to throw Barney Frank in prison

I hope that Huntsman and Gingrich spend a good chunk of time on this topic in their upcoming one-on-one debate. They should start by addressing the question of whether it’s naive for conservatives to expect that finance be governed by free markets.

— Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.

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