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Break Up Big Banks, Says Mega-Bank Pioneer

Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the architects of mega banking is now calling for the breakup of the world’s largest banks.

Sandy Weill, the former CEO of Citigroup, told CNBC on Wednesday, “What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking, have banks be the deposit takers, have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans, have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not too big to fail.”

In the late ’90s, Weill was a global banking pioneer, building Citi into a financial supermarket.  Now, “I am suggesting that they be broken up so that the taxpayer will never be at risk,” said Weill, adding his voice to a growing chorus of regulators and financial experts.

“Our system has been hijacked and we need to change it,” says Neil Barofsky, the former special inspector general in charge of oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).  Breaking up the banks, he says, “is widely accepted.”

Barofsky, who makes his case in the new book, Bailout, claims “the only people who have not accepted this it seems like is the big banks themselves and the politicians they seem to affectively control in Washington.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio