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Comments about ‘What others say: Washington vs. banks’

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Published: Wednesday, May 16 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

It seems the instituionalists like Thorstein Veblen were right, institutions do dictate economic outcomes. When the Clitnon administration decided to let commercial banks become investment banks it completely changed the banking instituion, and the result have been very very bad indeed.

CLM
Draper, UT

Oh please! This article reads like a puff piece by the American Bankers Association. "...government should let bankers be bankers." Who are they trying to kid? Government IS big bankers. And it's thanks to the Fed and the ponzi scheme of fractional reserve banking that keeps these banks so far in the black.

SEY
Sandy, UT

So if "government should let bankers be bankers," just what is a banker? At one time, a banker was a custodian of savings and a conservative lender. As marxist mentioned, the Clinton administration changed all that. Banks, especially the big ones, no longer attract savers, and loans are no longer conservative. They have become casinos.

This article is a thinly-veiled attempt to counter the growing popularity of the "Volcker Rule" that would return banking to the pre-Clinton era of banking. It would once again separate custodial banking from investment banking. CLM is exactly right is characterizing the article as a puff-piece written by a big-banking crony. This is where Americans should be directing their anger right now.

Cincinnatus
Kearns, UT

@marxist

You need to revise your statement.

Clinton alone did not let commercial banks become investment banks. Citibank merged with Travelers Group to become Citigroup, violating both the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956. They were given a temporary waiver by the Federal Reserve in September 1998 and less than a year later, Congress passed the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, allowing banks to become more than just banks.

As a point of fact- The Senate voted overwhemingly FOR the 1999 Act (90-8, the only opposition being 8 Nays, all Democrats). The House voted FOR the 1999 Act (362-57, 51 of the Nays were Democrats). ALL of Utah's Representatives at the time, Hatch, Bennett, Hansen, Cannon and Cook voted for the bill.

Yes, President Clinton signed it, but it was veto proof, due to bipartisan support and an overwhelming Republican support. But, in the end you're correct. The results have been very, very bad.

CLM
Draper, UT

Important piece of banking history, Cincinnatus. Thanks for the clarification and elaboration.

Guam_Bomb
BARRIGADA, GU

"American Financiers need the latitude to excel in a global Marketplace"? Their greedy attempts to "excel" are what caused the problem in the first place. JPMC was doing exactly what AIG, Lehman Bros. et al were doing with one difference. They were doing it with house money. However, instead of hitting their customers in the wallet, it is hitting their shareholders in the wallet. Either way billions of dollars just vanished into thin air.

The economy doesn't need more big banking and consolidation. It needs more localization and opportunities for small business to sprout and grow and reinvigorate the American economy. The problem is that these megabanks don't see these smaller enterprises as an opportunity. They consider them too small and unprofitable.

These financial institutions do not need to "excel" in order for the American economy to excel. Instead of giving small business and individuals access to needed capital, they have redirected it to risky ventures such as credit default swaps and other derivatives and starving the economy. If the government is the only one with the tools to open up markets, then the government has the responsibility to hold these greedy pigs to account.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Banks or any institution that accept deposits, expecially with government insurance ought not be allowed to gamble.

After the depression, bank regulations were instituted. They protected us until lobbyests got the law changed (I think in the 1980's). Since then we have had the savings and loan mess and the 'too big to fail' mess.

We ought to bring this law back. Government if it does its job right, instite of what conservatives say, has been and will be part of the solution.

Hank Pym
SLC, UT

Washington vs Banks? Really!? That is funny!

An accurate assessment is; DC + Wall St vs normal America... you know the one Mitt can't relate to.

Wally West
SLC, UT

@ Cincinnatus & cjb

I, too, am all for Gramm-Leach-Biley being repealed and Glass-Steagall being reinstituted.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

California's projected budget deficit for the year jumped from $9.2 billion in January to $16 billion in May. The liberals like to look at the banks because it is easier than looking in taxpayer's pockets.

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