Presidential candidate unveils plan to overhaul financial sector
Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman released a nine-point financial overhaul plan Monday that takes aim at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, too-big-to-fail banks and the Dodd-Frank Act while proposing reform measures for Basel III. The former governor of Utah shoots down Dodd-Frank in the plan, saying the Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010 "assures future transfers from taxpayers to bankers by institutionalizing a government backstop for too-big-to-fail firms." Huntsman claims he would end the era of big banks and kill unnecessary legislation that unleash compliance burdens on smaller players in the market. The Huntsman plan proposes an elimination of too-big-to-fail banks, with the former governor saying three years after the crisis the six largest banks are even larger than they were before the 2008 financial crisis. Huntsman's proposal also suggests the need for tax reform that would eliminate deductions for interest payments that give preference to debt over equity. "Real financial reform will mean breaking the Faustian bargain between Wall Street and Washington that helped fuel the housing bubble, drove a series of bailouts and prevented meaningful reform in the aftermath of the financial crisis," Huntsman wrote. The Huntsman plan also proposes more transparency in the opaque derivatives market, an end to Wall Street's reliance on excessive short-term leverage. Write to Kerri Panchuk.