Monday, May 1, 2017

KEN GRIFFIN: 'My fantasy is to break up the big banks'

KEN GRIFFIN: 'My fantasy is to break up the big banks'
By Lawrence Delevingne

Ken GriffinCNBC/ Heidi Gutman

BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) - Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin said he is encouraged by recent comments from U.S. officials that the government could move to break up the country's biggest banks.

"My fantasy is to break up the big banks," Griffin said on Monday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills. "I wish we would end too big to fail in our banking system."

Griffin's hedge fund and securities firm Citadel LLC, competes against big Wall Street banks in certain businesses. He expressed his view on bank breakups in response to President Donald Trump saying on Monday that he is actively considering such a plan.

Other White House officials have said similar things, and some U.S. lawmakers are also supportive of bank breakups. The renewed chatter has created jitters on Wall Street, where banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co , Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc have argued that their size and diverse revenue streams are good not just for shareholders and customers but the broader financial system.

Sitting on a panel at the conference, Griffin said he is encouraged by Trump's agenda to reduce taxes and roll back regulations, and believes the president will eventually accomplish his goals despite a failure to do so during his first few months in office. His comments mirrored those of other attendees.

"There is a tone from the top that it is a new day in America," Griffin said. "It's 100 days - it's not much time. We have another four years of this administration."

(Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne in Beverly Hills; Writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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May 1, 2017 at 03:14PM
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