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Comments about ‘Pew poll: Americans still sharply divided over financial regulation’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18 2013 10:46 a.m. MDT

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The Skeptical Chymist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

If we want to prevent another financial crisis, we need to stop the big banks from gambling with their customer's money. We need to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial banks from investment banks. This Act was repealed in 1999, and the repeal was signed by President Clinton. The repeal enabled the excesses that followed, which led to the financial collapse in 2008. Although we've passed some minor regulations on banks since then, the commercial and investment banking activities are still commingled, allowing the banks to continue gambling with our money (and with FDIC insurance, in case their gamble loses). There is some bipartisan support for a new, updated version of the Glass-Steagall Act (Elizabeth Warren, John McCain, Maria Cantwell, Angus King), but it hasn't gained traction because the banks want to continue gambling our money without risk to themselves, and they provide a lot of cash for political campaigns.

We should pressure our senators and congressmen to pass this important safeguard, or prepare for an another collapse.

mcclark
Salt Lake City, UT

It is amazing to me so many folks can ignore the financial meltdown caused by deregulation. Before Glass-Steagall we had many depressions on a regular basis. After we had none for almost eighty years. We missed another depression by a whisker, and we still have not recovered. It wasn't broke, put it back like it was.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

OK, thanks for the history lesson, but why did Clinton and the Congress sign that repeal in the first place? And now that we can see the downside of it, there must have been some ostensible "upside". Otherwise, why did Clinton sign it? And now that the downside has been shown to be much worse than the up, why doesn't it get traction for reinstatement? Maybe Boehner, Reid, Obama, and a few others need to get together for a pow wow on this. I think most everyone would rather solve the problem than blame the people who made the mistake. It does occur to me that with all the talk of the rich getting richer, (as todays Forbes 400 proves) maybe some are getting richer on the de-regulated banking industry. Just a thought. And any thoughts from you first two posters?

The Skeptical Chymist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@m.g.scott

There was a lot of "irrational exuberance" in 1999, when people like Alan Greenspan thought that the market could never be wrong. The banking industry campaigned for the repeal of Glass-Steagall on the grounds that it limited their ability to compete. And in fact, yes, it did enable a lot of bankers to get rich - by gambling with our money. They still like the idea of gambling with our money, and you can bet they're getting rich doing it again.

KDave
Moab, UT

There was 28 banks in trouble. While there was 7000 " main street" banks that did nothing wrong. The Govt. lowered the boom on all of them. How would you feel being punished for what someone else did?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

acutally the Banking Affiliates Act of 1982 contained many of the restrictions contained in Glass-Steagal and that act remained in force - the Fed just neglected to enforce it. The Fed was to blame, but dudd-frank's response gave the fed MORE power. How does that make sense - be rewarded for failing?

Another failure of dudd-frank is that the big banks have a LARGER percent5age of the nation's deposits now than they did pre-crisis. dudd-frank was supposed to end too-big-to-fail, but obviously it enshrined and further entrenched it.

I-am-I
South Jordan, UT

You all may have a good point. I'm not familiar with this particular issue on banking, but the US hasn't been free from economic downturns and depressions for 80 years. Also it is a widely accepted fact that the bubble of 2008 was caused by the poor regulation because of government entities such as Fanny May. If Fanny May hadn't existed or hadn't been commissioned to buy debt no matter how bad the note was the housing bubble would not have happened. The free market would not have artificially inflated and erupted.

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