WASHINGTON — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry laid out a sweeping financial reform agenda on Wednesday, suggesting he would force the biggest banks to hold even more capital or possibly reinstitute elements of the Glass-Steagall Act.

In a surprisingly forceful speech from Perry, who has said little on the topic prior to this speech, he addressed concerns about "too big to fail" institutions head on, vowing to stop financial bailouts if he wins the White House. He added that government should work harder to "level the playing field" between Wall Street banks and community institutions.

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