In his speech, Sanders underscored “the need to create a financial system that works for all Americans, not just the few.” (Dennis Van Tine / STAR MAX / IPx)

In a fiery speech detailing his plan to break up “too big to fail” banks, Sen. Bernie Sanders issued his sharpest criticism of Hillary Clinton yet, pointing to the large fees she has collected giving speeches to a financial industry she is conspicuously reluctant to regulate.

“My opponent says that as a senator, she told bankers to ‘cut it out’ and end their destructive behavior,” Sanders said of Clinton. “But, in my view, establishment politicians are the ones who need to cut it out. The reality is that Congress doesn’t regulate Wall Street. Wall Street and their lobbyists regulate Congress. We must change that reality, and as president, I will.”

The New York Times reports:

Mr. Sanders said that Mrs. Clinton was “wrong” to oppose his plan to reinstitute the Glass-Steagall Act, which would legally separate commercial banking, investment banking and insurances services. And the senator implicitly criticized Mrs. Clinton for being a patron of bankers when he pointed to their huge campaign donations and noted that they “provide very generous speaking fees to those who go before them.”

Mrs. Clinton has made hundreds of thousands of dollars speaking to banks and large corporations over the years.

Speaking at Town Hall in Midtown Manhattan, Mr. Sanders said that if elected president, he would enact much bigger and bolder plans than Mrs. Clinton and transform the country’s financial system by enforcing stricter regulations on banks. He also offered some new consumer-friendly proposals such as capping automated teller machine fees at $2 a transaction and limiting credit card interest rates, which he called “usurious.”

“Greed is not good,” Mr. Sanders said, in a rebuttal to the famed character from the movie “Wall Street,” Gordon Gekko. “In fact, the greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the very fabric of our nation.”

Mr. Sanders, an independent and self-described democratic socialist, often focuses on the financial industry and income inequality in his stump speeches and has released a long list of progressive plans, including expanding Social Security and making public universities tuition-free, as part of his campaign platform. He frequently laments the influence of “millionaires and billionaires” in America and regularly argues that too much of the country’s wealth is controlled by an elite handful of individuals.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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