Hillary Clinton told late-night host Stephen Colbert on Tuesday that she would not bail out banks if confronted with another crisis caused by risky behavior in the financial industry.
When asked by the “Late Show” host Colbert whether she would allow banks to fail in the event of another financial-industry meltdown, Clinton had an unequivocal answer.
“Yes,” Clinton said, nodding. “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.”
The former secretary of state qualified her answer, saying mandates included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-reform package would guard against a situation like the 2008 collapse.
And in the case of a potential failure, she said the law allowed banks on the verge of collapse to quickly liquidate assets, therefore theoretically easing the damage done to the financial system.
“Under Dodd-Frank, that is what will happen because we now have stress tests,” Clinton said before mentioning a proposal from her own plan to more heavily regulate Wall Street. “And I’m going to impose a risk fee on the big banks if they engage in risky behavior.”
Clinton said if banks or other financial institutions became “too big to fail,” she would consider pushing to break them up.
“And they have to know – what their shareholders have to know is, yes, they will fail,” Clinton said. “And if they’re too big to fail, then under my plan and others that have been proposed, they may have to be broken up.”
Citing praise from New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Clinton said her plan to regulate the financial industry, released earlier this month, was the most comprehensive of those offered by any candidate. She argued the plan did not just focus on major banks, instead ensuring that risky behavior perpetrated by other large sectors of the finance industry – like insurance companies – did not threaten to cause a systemic collapse.