Former Wall Street Executive: Complexity Of Today’s Banks ‘Makes You Weep Blood Out Of Your Eyes’

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"Former Wall Street Executive: Complexity Of Today’s Banks ‘Makes You Weep Blood Out Of Your Eyes’"

Former Bank of America Executive Sallie Krawcheck

Back in July, former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill — who is largely credited with convincing lawmakers in Washington to shatter the Depression-era regulations separating commercial banks from risky investment banks — said that the nation’s biggest banks should be broken up. This led to an outcry from Wall Street executives, who claim that banks need to be big and complex in order to be competitive.

But at least one more former Wall Street executive thinks that banks today are too big to manage. Former Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck said yesterday that the complexity of Wall Street banks “makes you weep blood out of your eyes“:

On Thursday, one former Wall Street executive put the issue in vivid terms as she raised concerns about the complexity of financial behemoths.

“It makes you weep blood out of your eyes,” said Sallie L. Krawcheck, who ran Bank of America’s wealth management division before a management reshuffling last year.

“If you look at the job of the board, if you look at the job of investors, it’s the concern about complexity,” she said, speaking from the stage at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit in Manhattan.

Before, during, and after the financial crisis, many people noted that banks have simply become too big to oversee effectively, a notion that was reinforced by JP Morgan’s $9 billion trading debacle earlier this summer. “These banks are not just too big to fail, they’re too big to manage,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told ThinkProgress. “I think these banks will be stronger and healthier and probably more profitable if they’re smaller.”

Krawcheck “did not endorse any one strategy to resolve banks’ complexity, but she said the proposal to break up banks and the regulation known as the Volcker Rule were two possible ‘means to an end.’” Republicans in Congress, though, are trying to ensure that the Volcker Rule — meant to restrict banks’ from trading for their own benefit with taxpayer-backed dollars — never fully comes into being.

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