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. Tie a not in your rope and hold on

    Let them fail hell let all of them fail. These banks allowed loans to be made to people who knew darn well they ould not afford a $700,000 dollar home on a 27,000 dollar income. I think all those who let this happen should just let hings fail including the purchasers who bought the house to begin with.

    March 8, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. JFK

    Sure, as long as these two bumbling Congressmen pick up the tab then since they are the "experts" apparently. If we let every bank fail that could, hello folks, wheres all the money going to come from then?? The FDIC can only handle so much. Sure we can print more money but at the detriment of the economy again. Either way, its a lose lose scenario!

    The government was smart to try to save some of the largest institutions from outright failure. Yes, they may still fail but to allow them to fail without trying at least is downright stupid! I realize some of these companies are not necessarily meant to survive but our economy can only handle so many body blows in the last year! To not try is to give up and throw your hands up and say "Oh well"! Actually that was the Bush and Republicans operation manual for the government the last eight years.

    Bush did nothing his last term and watched the economy sink under water like he did to New Orleans during Katrina. We dont need anymore useless failures like that. If Obama fails, then at least he tried to steer this country back on to the road and head us down the right direction. At least he didnt throw up his hands and put the country on autopilot as we have been on for quite some time.

    March 8, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  3. april

    Bankruptcy is all that is left, the auto industry in this country has squandered every chance it has been given to succeed. Greed, greed and more greed from top to bottom has brought them here. Monumental lack of vision and thought for their future by all their employees ruined the industry. Now our president is going back on his word to veto earmark laden legislation, that will be his undoing.It's like losing your virginity, you can't get it back.

    March 8, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  4. Tasha

    Richard Shelby talks about getting rid of these banks but do he really know that these banks or only going broke because of the decision made by the gov. If banks can't make money that leaves the markets in bad shape. Obama should make these big decisions and what says shall go, he is the man in charge people should start acting like it . I think John McCain should shut his mouth.

    March 8, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. Mike M.

    Sounds like the Republicans are channeling Andrew Mellon who was secretary of the Treasury during the Hoover administration. How do you think Hoover managed to let the stock market fall 90% and unemployment rise to 25% during his term? Well, on the advice of Andrew Mellon he stood by and let the banks fail. The government let Lehman Brothers fail last fall and the damage quickly spread, locking up commercial credit and causing a run on money market funds.

    The time may come soon enough that some of the largest banks must be taken over by the government and sold off in pieces, but the economic system cannot be allowed to collapse to satisfy some notion of ideological purity.

    March 8, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. sammieb51

    And McCain and Shelby would do what with the people in their constituencies that are affected by these bank failings? And what would McCain do, aside from criticizing?

    March 8, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    How can we trust any ideas from the republicans. Sure! Close big banks without telling people who will be afftected and how they will be affected by these closures. People elected President Obama to get real answers to real questions in order to find real solutions and not be surprised by undesirable consequences from just an idea thrown out there without any specific details.

    March 8, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. ib

    I thought this country was split under Bush now I see more hate coming from both sides than I have ever seen in my life. Why can't people stop spewing hate long enough to do something to get this country back on track. Both parties are to blame for the country being where it is now and it will take both parties working together to get it back on track again. We need to stop this "my way or the highway" attitude because if we don't we will lose our country.

    March 8, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  9. AN

    Its life some don't make it and us wasting money on them for the next generation to have to pay off is utterly rediculous, its a natural correction, let them fail. I am tired of these bailouts that have helped what so far. For everything this is costing us I don't see it making big improvements.

    March 8, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  10. Jim B

    More words of wisdom from another Republican politician who appears to be out of touch with the Average American Citizen. How about offering a sound solution to this nation's concerns and problems, instead of just more counterproductive criticism?! I am still waiting. At least the President is trying to solve the problems left by years of Republican Rule. The BS from these Republicans these days is enough to depress anyone. Until the Republican Party can again provide another intelligent presidential candidate, someone with a GENUINE concern for ALL of the American People, you will NOT again get my vote. Until this happens, it's Independent or Democrat for me.

    P.S. President Theodore Roosevelt would have been disgusted with what the Republican Party has become.

    March 8, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  11. ASD

    First time I agree with Republicans! Some banks deserve it as they created this mess!

    March 8, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. franc

    I wonder why John McCain want these banks fail now. What the reason John McCain suspended his campaign last year and went back to Washington DC to vote the banks bail out package ?. I know the difference is the President Obama instead President Bush. I hope the GOP think before they talk.

    March 8, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. carmelgoddess

    The republicans are hanging their own selves. Trust me by 2012 republicans will be dead

    America no longer needs that party November 4th proved that

    March 8, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  14. 2010 -

    I agree with Senator Shelbey in not giving these banks anymore bailout money. Those bigger banks should be shut down. They've been ripping us off long enough. I think we all see these same banks coming back a second and third time for bailout monies. What does that tell us? Those banks don't need to be in existence.

    March 8, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  15. cnnnewser

    The republicans like failure.... period. And especially if its on President Obama's watch.

    BTW – John King let Republican Senator Lindsey Graham pull the wool over his eyes today. Graham hates the spending bill, but he and his fellow republicans has it chocked full of earmarks.
    Hypocrits!!! And John King just let it slide.
    Shameful news reporting from CNN.

    March 8, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. MK

    What happens to the money people owe the banks? For instance my citi card? If Citi bank fails do I owe them money still? I am carrying a balance on my card, if they fail, I owe not one dime. I think the bail out they took already, knowing the were going to fail, was my credit card balance pay off. How's that for selfishness. Every man, women and child for themselves in a democracy. Works for me and I am not even a rebublican or a southerner.

    March 8, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. Andi

    that photo is creepy. I think CNN has used that photo before. It's still creepy looking

    March 8, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  18. anthony

    The Republican Party should be allowed to fail, unless it can demonstrate that it has some relevance and has something constructive to say.

    March 8, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  19. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Wasn't it BUSHCO got rid ot regulations and let these things happen, and now the Repubs say let them fail? Real good plan...The ripples would be a disaster.

    March 8, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  20. Glennis

    Government interference is one of the main causes of our problems today. I say let those too weak to stand on their own fail. And let the big three fail if they can't make it without continual infusions of government cash. On one hand Obama is telling us we're a resilient people and can come back from the brink and on the other he's telling us we can't afford to let these losers go under. Well, yes we can. If we are indeed resilient, as I believe we are, and if we still have that pioneer spirit we most certainly can triumph over this. We need to stop throwing good money after bad and move on. This is not a Republican nor a Democrat problem; it's an American problem and if there are enough people left that the government hasn't sucked all the ambition and get up and go out of left out here in the real world, there's no reason not to believe we can eventually get back on our feet. Nobody said it would happen tomorrow.

    March 8, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  21. jim carroll

    Why doesn’t the news media go to the
    They could get some new ideas. Then they could stop stirring
    in the same pile of cow manure with the Republicans and
    professors of economics 101.

    March 8, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  22. Tulsa L

    Yes the Republcans are all for letting everything not help anyone or any business, cause this will make Obama look like a failure......then if and when they get in they will do the same things Obama is trying to do right now.........but by then it will be their ideas and it will be OK........these guys are nuts and I hope NO one is listening to them........all Media news networks should back off of all this back and forth with these politicians, its gets old listening to the same old negative back and forth.......they will never agree and it is depressing to listen to, so I do not listen to CNN all day like I used to , I only watch the evening news now and that is CBS and I am enjoying my days a lot better now......

    March 8, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. Texas Teacher

    Wow... suddenly these self righteous Republicans have holier than thou suggestions that bare no resembliance to their agenda during the Bush Administrations! Now they are pure as the driven snow... no blood on their hands. And they, of course, blame Obama for all the mess we are in? Really? They are truly having memory problems and they are "banking" on the hope that we will as well! Obama has only been in office for six weeks.... and they are full of recrimination and suggestions that defy the fact that they made this mess... now they want us to believe that THEY can fix it! Pffft.... seriously....

    March 8, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. CC

    Not a republican but Do AGREE this time!

    March 8, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  25. dairy farmer

    Let them fail, If we dairyfarmers can,'t make it because we get about half the price for our milk we need to even break even, then why would somebody else get bail-out money, and not the (dairy) farmer who actually FEEDS this country.

    I hate to see somebody go broke, but banks should (have) know (n) better and not dig their own hole as deep as it is now, would have saved the whole world including this dairyfarmer a lot of headaches.

    March 8, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
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