The Fund Created to Unwind a Failing Megabank Has a Problem: There’s No Money in It

by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade

Last week the American Banker published an opinion article by Arthur E. Wilmarth, Jr., the Professor Emeritus of Law at George Washington University. Wilmarth is the man who wrote the seminal book on the continuing threat to financial stability posed by U.S. megabanks – the same ones that blew up Wall Street and the U.S. economy in 2008.

The title of Wilmarth’s article (paywall) is: “The FDIC’s resolution plan for failed megabanks is an empty promise.” The thrust of the article is this: the Dodd-Frank Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2010 – 14 years ago. One of its primary goals was to prevent taxpayers from having to rescue megabanks, as occurred in 2008. A key component of that goal is Title II of Dodd-Frank, which provides an Orderly Resolution Plan to unwind failing megabanks that does not require taxpayer or Federal Reserve bailouts. That Plan, in turn, requires a giant pool of instantly available cash, which Dodd-Frank calls the Orderly Liquidation Fund or OLF.

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