March 9th, 2009
04:37 AM ET
9 years ago

Some banks should be allowed to fail, say two top Republicans

'We bury the small banks -- we've got to bury some big ones,' said Shelby Sunday.

'We bury the small banks - we've got to bury some big ones,' said Shelby Sunday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two top Senate Republicans said Sunday that banks shouldn't be able to count on any more bailout money - and that the federal government should let some of them fail rather than distribute further funds to keep them afloat.

"Close them down, get them out of business. If they're dead, they ought to be buried," Sen. Richard Shelby, the Ranking Republican on the banking committee, told ABC's This Week. "We bury the small banks - we've got to bury some big ones, and send a strong message to the market." He did not mention any banks by name, although he responded to a question about Citigroup by noting that "Citi's always been a problem child."

Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain told Fox News Sunday that he did not think President Obama "made the hard decision, and that is to let these banks fail." He did not call for nationalization of troubled financial institutions, which many Republicans oppose, but said their assets should be sold. "Unfortunately, the shareholders and others will take a beating," he said.

Filed under: John McCain • Richard Shelby
soundoff (417 Responses)
  1. Stephen, Missouri

    Senator Shelby is clearly what is wrong with the Republican is easy to say let the banks fail...Shelby has no clue as to what to do about this economy. His answer is to destroy what is left of the ailing banks...did he pose to consider the implications? Does he know how many people and businesses are tied to Citigroup?? The Republican party has become the worst of what is wrong with this country.

    For years, they got us all screwed and put us in this they want to detroy what is left. I think the President needs to explain just how out of touch these republican wackos are...I am saving my money to oust as many Republicans as I can in 2010 and 2012.

    March 8, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. maf

    That's the GOP alternative? McCain and Shelby talking about the ECONOMY? This is the Republican response, let some of the bigger banks fail. . . let's put some more Americans out of work. . .not only will that affect the US, but these big banks have offices and employees all over the world. Let's put people out of work in other nations as well.
    That will really help the economy get started again.

    Vote the Republicans out of their jobs in 2010 and 2012. Then they might finally be forced to get it.

    March 8, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Ivan

    Shelby is an idiot.
    The voters should close him down the next time he's up for re-election.
    And when the stimulus succeeds he and all the others Republicans will be in a quandry when they face their next election. First they and their Republican party got the country into this financial mess and when it came time to extract ourselves all they could offer was the policies that got us into thie mess and no.

    March 8, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Spender-in-chief

    I wouldn't bank on it.

    March 8, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Ray Fisher

    It is well past time for the bancruptcy laws to take over. Bailouts only prolong the inevitable and prohibit the self-cleaning ofthe industry. The failed banks will provide opportunity for their replacements without a failed history.

    March 8, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Action

    Burn the villiage to save it...yeah that worked in Vietnam too. Don't these Republicans have any NEW ideas?

    March 8, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. pat C.

    i love and support our president but i must agree with letting the big banks fail. we must move on and the sooner the better. we americans are sick of seeing our money go down a drowning rat whole. i am sick of hearing about how important these big failures are to the economy ..well i can tell you the american people are NOT supporting giving one more dime to any failing co. GM is another one that needs to be buried. all failures should be put to rest and let a healthy CO. take over and our economy will then heal it's self.
    not one more dime should be given away unless the government dicides to give it back to THE PEOPLE, the ones that can put it to better use. we are sick of hearing all this gloom and doom.....get rid of the sickness and move on now!

    March 8, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Survivor

    everybody is going to get hurt one way or another – don't matter if the republican mouth or the democrat mouth – this isn't the usual "business as usual" situation.

    I say do away with the "Party" system and let every man or woman run on their particular merit – they stand on their own or they fail – just like the banks.

    March 8, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Real American

    Why do they keep "talking" about it. It's been past the time to let them fail! When is our government (rep or dem) going to get the gonads and CHANGE. It may be sucession time again and let our individual states run themselves.

    March 8, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. sammy

    Some banks? Which one to bury and which bank to keep on life support? Who decides? I wish the Republician was more specific in hepling with the banking crisis.

    March 8, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. ruth

    I agree. A lot of small banks are doing GREAT. It is the large ones that are failing because of corrupt practices. I say–LET THEM GO UNDER. We will all be better off.

    March 8, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Dan J.

    The Republican Party, in my view, is irrelevant. These so called "fiscal conservatives" had nothing to say about the last administration's spending habits. Now, apparently, they have found a way to get back to their principles. It kind of sounds like the adulterer or wife beater that says"Baby, I know I've done you wrong but I can change! Remember how good I used to be to you? I can get be that person again."

    We can't just let banks fail. Letting Lehman Bros fall is what accelerated this mess anyway.

    March 8, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. B.W.

    While I agree that some (if not all) should be allowed to fail, it would have been nice if conservatives would have acted conservative before Obama got elected. Boy are we hosed now...

    March 8, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Had It

    Some Republicans need to be voted out of the Senate. Maybe next year we can kiss Shelby and McCain GOODBYE.

    March 8, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Arlene Illinois

    Richard Shelby talks out of the side of his mouth, on the one
    hand he wants banks to fail but not before he gets his "pork" for his
    state of over $ 114 million. Gotta love those Republicans.
    As for John Mccain get over it you lost the election.

    March 8, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. Franky

    Bury the big one's, huh? You know, they should know, their party got buried, LOL!! By the way, good way to say it...who cares and let's move on. Yeah, good move...

    March 8, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Sophie

    Well, John McCain doesn't have to worry about losing any money from bank closures.

    He is set for life.

    Thanks to us.

    March 8, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. Rei Thompson

    Would you mind correcting the misspelling in the first line of the article, to reflect that 'two top Senate Republicans said..."


    March 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. bob

    if the republicans are willing to let a bank fail, then why bail out the big three automakers? to quote "Close them down, get them out of business. If they're dead, the outght to be buried". why keep bailing out one industry and not another. There are plenty of automakers in the world, if a company can't sell the products they make then they should fail.

    March 8, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Flo

    McCain is leading the party because they have no one right now to lead. His message is not grounded on's easy to critisize but wonder what he would be doing if he was in the driver seat. He was erratic during the campaign and I suspect he would be making rash decisions if he was president. Mr. Obama is doing it right by taking the time to look at all options before deciding on a course. McCain is just trying to stay in the limelight along with Limbaugh and others. Steele is MIA because limbaugh put a muzzle on him. Newt want to did up Reagan corpse and make him the leader while contemplating running in 2012. You got to love what the RNC has become in a short 2 months.

    March 8, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. HelloooOOOOO

    hmmm, let me get my money out before you allow these banks to fail !!!!

    March 8, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Bridg

    Shelby has absolutely NO CREDIBILITY on any economic issues concerning this country. It is quite clear that he and all Republicans hate this country.

    March 8, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Pat F

    Of course they should. Just like some grocery stores, and restaurants, and gas stations should go out of business. When you make bad decisions, the market punishes you. That is how capitalism is supposed to work. Good behavior is rewarded – bad is punished.

    If the government steps in and breaks the chain, it converts efficient capitalism into inefficient socialism. Oh, wait, that is Barry's goal.

    March 8, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Eyitayo Onifade

    I thought that was the point of the "stress tests", to determine which banks they should just let fall by the wayside...I'm not really hearing anything particularly new. Some of the big banks are going to fail, regardless of whether the government wants to save them or not. What I'd like to hear is a plan for what we're going to do when they do fail. And, I'm sure Obama would welcome any suggestions whether they come from the republicans or democrats. It's time for the republicans to offer some alternative solutions because pointing out problems we all recognize isn't going to cut it.

    March 8, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Couldn't agree more ! Thats the way capitalism works, you mismanage, you fail and you fold. This should be upheld, its the way competitive markets work.

    March 8, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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