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. Honorable Kansas Vet

    We wittness today the delated death of what is left of the Grande Old Party. What have Republicans brought us, economic disater and world wide crisis. It sometimes amazes me that I spent over 50 years being taken in by these fools.

    March 8, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Aaron, Chicago

    Thank you to the senator who cheated on his wife and the senator who questioned the president's birth certificate. Very loyal patriots and your advice is noted.

    A real thanks for a president who can make tough decisions.

    March 8, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  3. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Some commentators seem more eager to bash Republicans than engage in any serious discussion.
    And there were Republicans who told Bush there should be no bailouts. Obamamaniacs have convenient memories.
    And Sophie, McCain is set for life because he married into money. Facts are facts even though you choose to ignore them.

    March 8, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. Joshua College Station Texas

    I agree. Let them fail.

    March 8, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. Chris

    How about fixing the things that got us in this mess so this never happens again. How devastating just one bank collapsing can be. We would all be screwed. These banks were run awfully and they made terrible decisions, those who made those decisions should suffer. They gambled and made themselves rich, meanwhile making everyone else poor. They should suffer and I understand the mentality here and maybe the point would be to make them suffer, in the end it is a view that is too short sided to let them simply fail however. republican, libertarian, democrat, I think we all can agree on that.

    March 8, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. Ash

    I agree. Survival of the fittest.

    March 8, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. Lisa, Cleveland

    As a former employee of a large bank that failed and was bought with government money by another bank, I hate what these bank executives have done to the economy and to their employees and to the taxpayers of this company. But I really hate these politicians who have forgotten that the "stockholders" of these banks are filled with many employees who contributed to 401Ks with company stock. So, if the banks fail, the employees get killed AGAIN. Not only will they lose their jobs, but, like me, they will lose most, if not all, of their retirement savings. I love how these Republicans who caused this mess propose these not-so-well thought out solutions.

    March 8, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. bob searcy

    the greed of banks with their arm,s and card interest rates wrecked this nation. let them fold, nationalize whats left. prosecute govt overseers who let us be ripped off.

    March 8, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. Katrina

    It is absolutely not time for the republicans to "shut up". Sorry friend, but this is how it works. If every opposing position simply "shut up", our country would be in more trouble than it already is. Accountability is key in government and I didn't hear and democrats even taking a moment to catch their breath when Bush was in office, so listen up. I am sick of the redistribution of money to corrupt businesses. Let them fail so new competition can enter the market. It isn't the government's job to be providing everyone with money and jobs. America doesn't work that way. Yes, you actually have to try to get a job in this country. Oh freaking no. Sure the ideals of keeping everyone fat and happy sound great in theory, but the government was created to govern, not be a credit card with no limit whose bill goes to me, the tax payer, in the form of a lowered dollar value among other things. I don't want the administration to fail, I want them to succeed in so many ways. But I WILL NOT sacrifice what I believe is best for our nation. It's called difference of opinions. Get used to it.

    March 8, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. True Conservative

    Let's start with the Banks run by Chris Dodd's buddies!

    March 8, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. Let me get ready

    And you think your 401s look sad now–what happens when the big banks fail and take ALL that you've invested? Let's not talk about THAT!

    March 8, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. HAWK , TEXAS

    Sure they would love to see them fail, that way they could blame the democrats. when will we be rid of all republicans. next election i hope.

    March 8, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. Texas Proud!

    Good Lord, stop blaming one party or the the other. They are both to blame!

    -–"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of
    Congress. But then I repeat myself".-–
    -–Mark Twain--

    March 8, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. True Conservative

    Dear CNN Moderators;
    Hope you have enjoyed reading my posts (Since only you are allowed to read them). I will be taking my business elsewhere, anywhere, somewhere different points of view are welcomed.
    Somewhere moderators don't try to modify public opinion by filtering
    points of view. Hope your ratings rebound(NOT!). There will be no louder opponent of your bailout when the request comes!

    March 8, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. once upon a horse

    is there any Republican that doesn't look mean or crazy? Maybe that's just the way they like for their pictures to be taken.

    March 8, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  16. Millie McGuire

    Seems it has unfortunately come down to this: Keep propping up the mismanaged companies with taxpayer sacrifices and let the taxpayers go bankrupt, or prop up the taxpayers and let the mismanaged companies go bellyup. Bad choices, but which is more reliable, the taxpayers or the mismanaged companies?

    March 8, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. ED Fl

    It would be nice if someone with a little more honesty and integrity besides Shelby . I know he would like to have the public remember that he took the Democratic votes and money to get to Washington as a democrat then switched parties. What scruples and now he wants to use Mccain as a companion in their latest pitch for integrity. Both have short coat tails in their endeavors.

    March 8, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. California Kid

    Let the strong banks take over the failing banks. Obama and his lemming socialists should go on an extended trip to Europe letting conservatives fix the problems!

    March 8, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. Perusing-through

    If Senator Richard 'No-Credibility' Shelby truly believes dropping big banks like CITI is the right course of action, then why doesn't he put forth a bipartisan plan that maps out the best course action along with documented details?

    March 8, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. lf

    This Nation has a lot of small banks who've succeeded in managing their businesses in a responsible manner, and know how to do it. Perhaps they should pool their resources and buy up the big ones for a dollar a share, dispatch management teams to them, 'pink slip' old management, and reorganize them as they ought to be. Some of the CEOs of the large ones seem so fatigued, worn-out, tired and may want to move on with very small severance packages.

    Want a good bank you can count on and be happy? Try HAPPY Bank of TX of the pandhandle area. The last heard was they don't have to pandhandle because they know how to run a safe, secure, sound, and happy Bank. There are many similar banks around the Country who do not count on the US Government to bail them out. Hurrah for this type of Bank because they have their act together.

    March 8, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. hitobito

    I agree with Shelby that banks with a dysfunctional business model should be "bailed out" with taxpayer's funds. That includes CITI and the Bank of America. The problem is the FDIC does not have the manpower and funds to "take over" CITI or the BofA. The same strategy applies to GM and Chrysler. Companies with poor business models should not be rescued period. Let the bankruptcy process take over and see if DIP financing is enough to salvage the company.

    March 8, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. Matthew, Detroit


    Get rid of the same OLD party line, where were those republicans when President Bush was spending.

    Well if you were some like RUSH you complained about it then.
    If you were Lindsay Graham of SC you were against it then.

    If you were barack you were all about spending (when you happen to show up for a vote).

    Spending is NOT the answer. Two wrongs DO NOT make a right.

    Finally, The guy campaigned on CHANGE and this is nothing but more

    spending. IT is great the Democrats complained about President Bush spending money, but why now do you not complain about barack spending. It is still waste and it is still too much money.

    Stop using the rhetoric of MSNBC. Come up with your own lines.

    THE FACT IS we can not keep spending and should not spend any

    more money on tihs bailout. Bankruptcy and reorganization is the answer.

    March 8, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  23. Jeff E.

    I don't imagine Senator Shelby has any money in the banks he'd like to see fail. Nor do I imagine any of his GOP cohorts, including Rush and McCain have any money in those banks. What a load of bull. As long as the fat cats are set, they're perfectly happy to see the rest of the country take the blows. How about offering something constructive, for a change? Maybe McCain could "suspend" his ongoing anti-Obama campaign to focus on some real solutions instead of vapid potshots at the guy who's actually trying to do something for average Americans.

    March 8, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. eholl

    If we are going to let failing institutions suffer the consequences of their actions, then we should abolish Congress too. Democrats and Republicans can't seem to get anything right. Obama has his hands full dealing with the economy and now he has to deal with these childish lawmakers that only have their best interests at heart. We should amend our Constitution and abolish both the House and the Senate! Better yet, let's outlaw political parties. That seems to be where the real problem "lies"!!

    March 8, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. Alicia

    Great Idea!

    After all, this Shelby was so ignorant as to agree that President Obama may not be a US citizen. Racist Kentucky Fried Jacka$$.

    The GOP should know all about failure....they created the mess!!!!!

    March 8, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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