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. Jobless

    It takes a poplulist demogogue like Shelby to saw bank failures are good. Of course if a bank does fail Shelby will be the first to play the blame game by taking a partisan shot at Obama.

    March 9, 2009 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  2. Bill, Bloominton IL

    So Stephen from Missouri, what is your plan? How much more are you willing to throw at Citigroup and their parties? Just make sure it is your money and not mine. Sell your house if you have to and learn about free markets.

    March 9, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  3. Independent

    It is easy to point fingers and say this one did this and this one should have done that. I voted for Obama becuase I thought he would bring change to Washington. I was fooled. He is as bad as bush (who I did not vote for). I will not vote for him again! I was fooled once!

    March 9, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Dana Cline

    Finally!! Someone has the nerve to state the obvious. If a business fails and has to sell off, someone else will buy it up. There will be loses, but at least we will finally see market values set by demand. This would free up our government to work on real issues that will save jobs, like balancing compensation for jobs in the services industry of this "global market". To save jobs in America the government needs to stop companies from off shoring all our skilled services jobs. These are the jobs that we as Americans use to pay our mortgages and stimulate the economy.

    March 9, 2009 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  5. alvino

    If McCain and Sheby are two top GOP Senators, the republicans are screwed. The only message they consistently bring the American people is "failure." While right wingnuts enjoy gloom and doom, the country deserves better.

    March 9, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  6. Will, Florida

    General, oops, Senator Shelby has finally stated that "some" banks should be bailed out. We have finally reached common ground. Now we simply need to decide which ones.

    March 9, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  7. alvino

    Like Nero, who fiddled as Rome burned, McCain twitters while banks fail.

    March 9, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  8. DJ

    When people steal from a bank, they call it a robbery. When a bank steals from people, they call it a bailout. See the hypocricy?

    March 9, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  9. MLWidner

    Yes, we have to suffer the loss of some large banks. It's easy for me to say since I've been in a credit union for years. But I do believe that we are prolonging the agony and should just let 'em go and deal with the aftemath.

    March 9, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  10. Lisa

    It burns me up to help out people that have screwed up, but even uneducated little me, understands it is not as simple as 'let them fail'. My friend works for Citigroup, my home loan is threw GMAC mortgage.

    These banks failing will have far reaching repercussions and we can't let it happen. Do I have the answer? No, but failure is not an option here.

    March 9, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. Dianne

    Senator Shelby, sit down & shut up! Your cries are irresponsible & part of the problem.

    It has taken years to get into this mess & now the critics say Secretary Geithner is expected to fix it NOW?

    Allow the process to unfold, stress tests are in progress, a review is in progress. There will be a carefully thought out plan to emerge from this crisis stronger. As opposed to the "fly by the seat of your pants" we witnessed with Secretary Paulson for months last fall on the steps of the Capitol & the White House, with the Secretary trembling & shaking and telling us we had to act NOW.

    "Immediate gratification" is what got us in the mess! Be patient & shut up! You know nothing about economics & your cries in the wilderness are alarmist to say the least.

    March 9, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  12. TIRED

    Republicans, give me a break! Please dont try to appease the American public about caring for our money. For 8 years Shelby had a chance to take a stand against Government spending, he chose not to and for those 8 years he remain under the radar. It wasn't til Bush lost that now he is trying to make some noise! It's to late!! Your ex President, spending eclipse Ronald Reagan's. Out of the last 32 years, Republican Presidents outspent the lame Democrats, Yet Shelby remained mum.

    March 9, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  13. Peter

    Well this is the reason the repubulican didn't win, letting lehman brothers fail, anyone with in IQ of 5 can figure out that's a bad move

    March 9, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  14. Oh

    Can we get something else from you instead of "let them fail"
    If we should let banks fail everyone in America would loose their jobs. Im glad the republicans are no longer running things. God put Obama in the white house just in time!

    March 9, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  15. TT

    Rep., are the reason why the banks are failing, now he trying to clean it up.......come on we are smarter Americans we know the you had your hand in it.

    March 9, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  16. Chris W,

    Why not let AIG fail then? (& watch the world turn it's back on N.Y. forever) and who gets to pick and choose? The genie's already been let out of the bottle and there was no other choice. Now the Rebublicans want to start yelping on the sidelines in mid game when they were the ones who started the whole thing in motion. It's pathetic and for even one nasty little Republican to already be blaming Obama is amazing. Go back and look at history, the procedure of "Investment Banking " was a ticking time bomb when it came into force under Regan, and all this "big government is bad" mantra served to do was make sure it was less and less regulated. Yeah the Clinton's went along free wheelin' and dealing just like the New Democrats they were, but now old fasioned sanity is back in vogue and you Republicans can go blank yourselfs.

    March 9, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. maria

    democrats should stop quoting that racist guy, Hughley. And, Obama should stop trying to avoid his job and should stop campaigning. He has no clue what he is doing–thus tries to distract by picking on conservative media people and race-baiting with his AG.I don't see anyone picking on Rachael Maddox and those hateful left-wing talk show hosts. Probably because no one listens to them, anyway,

    March 9, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  18. Mickie

    Of course, now that the republicans and their cronies already got as much money as they could out of the banks, wall street investors and the backs of the little people, they would love for the country to fail so that they are the only ones with money. Bush/Cheney worked very hard to make this happen "mission accomplished" idiots.

    March 9, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  19. J.Crobuzon

    Are these the banks their own money is in? Do they think the FDIC is 'socialism?'

    March 9, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  20. debbie

    Some banks HAVE failed. Duh. So far, not as many as failed during the tenure of Bush I. If the solution was letting banks fail, they we'd be in great shape.

    So much for Republicans being the "party of business". When their hare-brained schemes blow up, they throw business right under the bus.

    March 9, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  21. core

    I am no expert but what can we do with these banks... could we break them up like we did with AT&T's monopoly. Could we lessen the debt from these smaller companies and turn them over to private ownership? I would love to have someone just come out and lay out the options....I don't care if its labeled conservative or liberal...just no more of this bail out a zombie bank or let everything fail.

    March 9, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. alvino

    Penn Voter-

    To say Alan Keyes speaks the truth is disgusting. He is a fanatic much like Hitler. If that moron had a following, he would be dangerous. To support his message of hate, blasphemy and lies, says a lot about you unhappy right wingnuts.

    March 9, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  23. Baze

    I agree, let some of these banks, and let GM fail

    March 9, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  24. Patrick


    What we get from repubs... people too ignorant to turn off their caps lock.

    Getting what I deserve? This is entirely the fault of the Bush administration. Don't even try to say otherwise. No one believes your lies anymore.

    March 9, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  25. Democrat, Agree's

    There is only so far you can go to keep saving something, until you ultimately have to just let it die.

    I agree jobs will be lost, well guess what – jobs are already being lost, and all of Obama's plans doesnt address all those jobs lost. It simply cant. Its a hard pill to swallow, the reality that throwing money at a problem doesnt always simply solve it...or the reality that the money we keep throwing at these banks, can be saved for a rainier when that bank fails and those people need unemployment.

    The shareholders SHOULD take the beating – it was their greed that blinded the eyes of the ones running the companies.

    Perhaps its time to re-evaluate the way our stock market/works in conjuction with business...because buiness is abandoning sound business methods in order to keep shareholders happy with unrealistic gains.

    I work for a publically traded company – i see the drive to "pump up earnings" every quarter...rather than just doing business, we have to move funds and billing around in order to ALWAYS put the best foot forward. A company cannot operate like this and remain healthy, sometimes having a bad business month is just that...but to a shareholder, its reason to jump ship – which is what all companies fear, shareholders selling stock and driving the price of their stock every quarter has to look better than the last (whether it really is better or not).


    March 9, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
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