Public Citizen group calls for breakup of Bank of America

Advocacy group Public Citizen is filing a petition today urging the government to break Bank of America Corp. into smaller companies, saying the Charlotte bank poses a "grave threat" to the financial system.

In a petition to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the group says the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed in 2010 gives regulators the authority to do so.

Public Citizen is also hosting a conference call with academics today to "sound the alarm bells" about what they call "too-big-to-fail" banks and discuss specific policy measures that could be used to achieve their goals.

"Bank of America is too large and complex to manage or regulate properly, and its financial condition is poor and could deteriorate rapidly at any moment, potentially causing the market to lose confidence in the bank," according to the two-dozen-page petition.

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