quinta-feira, outubro 02, 2008

Vasos comunicantes

«The business of taking deposits and lending by banks had been split during the Great Depression from the business of underwriting and selling stocks and bonds—investment banking—by an act of Congress, the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. The law was passed amid the collapse of the banking system in the United States following the bursting of the Wall Street stock market bubble in October 1929.
That Glass-Steagall act was a prudent attempt by Congress to end the uncontrolled speculative excesses of the Roaring Twenties by New York finance. It established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to guarantee personal bank deposits to a fixed sum that restored consumer confidence and ended the panic runs on bank deposits.
In November 1999, after millions spent lobbying Congress, the New York banks and Wall Street investment banks and insurance companies won a staggering victory. The US Congress voted to repeal that 1933 Glass-Steagall Act. President Bill Clinton proudly signed the repeal act with Sandford Weill, the chairman of Citigroup.
The man whose name is on that repeal bill was Texas Senator Phil Gramm, a devout advocate of ideological free market finance, finance free from any Government fetters. The major US banks had been seeking the repeal of Glass-Steagall since the 1980s. In 1987 the Congressional Research Service prepared a report which argued the case for preserving Glass-Steagall. The new Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, just fresh from J.P. Morgan bank on Wall Street, in one of his first speeches to Congress in 1987 argued for repeal of Glass-Steagall

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