Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen faced tough questions from Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford (R) during a recent U.S. Senate hearing, admitting that the government is essentially picking winners and losers in the ongoing bank bailout process, Breitbart reports.
Critics argue that smaller community banks are being disadvantaged in favor of larger institutions, which are predominantly supported by the Democratic party.
Lankford posed a direct question to Yellen, asking, “Will the deposits in every community bank in Oklahoma, regardless of their size, be fully insured now? Are they fully covered, every bank, every community bank in Oklahoma, regardless of the size of the deposit? Will they get the same treatment that SVBP [Silicon Valley Bank] just got or Signature Bank just got?”
Yellen’s response, while not entirely clear, appeared to confirm the fears of many smaller banks and their supporters:
“A bank only gets that treatment if a majority of the FDIC board, a super majority of the Fed board and I, in consultation with the president, determine that the failure to protect uninsured depositors, would create systemic risk and significant economic and financial consequences,” she said.
In essence, this means that if the FDIC and other relevant authorities don’t favor a particular bank, depositors may not be insured beyond the $250,000 limit, Breitbart notes.
Critics say this will lead to a mass exodus of customers from smaller community banks to the larger institutions that have implicit government backing.
When Lankford asked Yellen about her plans to prevent the movement of large depositors from community banks to larger institutions, Yellen claimed, “Look, I mean, that’s certainly not something that we’re encouraging.”
However, Lankford pointed out the reality: “That is happening right now!”
Yellen continued to deflect, saying that this is occurring because “depositors are concerned about the bank failures that have happened and whether or not other banks could also fail.”
Lankford countered by emphasizing that the real issue is that customers’ money is only fully insured in big banks, not community banks.
Many fear that this situation will lead to the consolidation of banking power in the hands of a few large institutions, which could have far-reaching consequences for individual freedoms and small businesses.
Critics argue that this is just another example of the Democratic party’s attempts to centralize control and manipulate the financial landscape to their advantage.