Now here’s something to get angry about

Every day that passes brings a new opportunity to define this economic crisis that teeters closer and closer to the brink of another Great Depression.

You can talk all you want about Wall Street vs. Main Street, but no amount of rancorous debate should supercede the ire that all of us here in the States should have for our stupid politicians who self-inflicted this wound upon us.

Unquestionably, the single-most important day that led us to this point was November 4, 1999, when the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was passed by the Senate (90-8) and by the House (362-57).

Gramm-Leach-Bliley repealed provisions in The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, thereby wiping away significant lessons learned during the original Great Depression while essentially creating a new industry out of something now commonly referred to as “financial services”.

For a blast from the past that will completely blow you away, check out this article from the NY Times, dated November 5, 1999.  Titled “Congress Passes Wide-Ranging Bill Easing Bank Laws”, it is almost unbelievable to read through in an historical context.

Three Republicans, Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, Representative Jim Leach of Iowa, and Representative Thomas J. Bliley Jr. of Virginia sponsored the bill.  But support was obviously bi-partisan, as indicated by the wide margin which allowed its passage.

That being said, the detractors do look all the more prescient today.  Check out the quote from Democratic Senator Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota : ”I think we will look back in 10 years’ time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930’s is true in 2010. I wasn’t around during the 1930’s or the debate over Glass-Steagall. But I was here in the early 1980’s when it was decided to allow the expansion of savings and loans. We have now decided in the name of modernization to forget the lessons of the past, of safety and of soundness.”

For the record, Dorgan obviously voted against the act, as did the following other 7 Senators: the late Paul Wellstone of Minnesota (D), Richard C. Shelby of Alabama (R), Barbara Boxer of California (D), Richard H. Bryan of Nevada (D), Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin (D), Tom Harkin of Iowa (D), and Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland (D).

At least a few of our elected politicians had the foresight to vote against Gramm-Leach-Bliley.  As for the rest of them, the question really becomes, “How do you sleep?”

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~ by acm213 on March 26, 2009.

One Response to “Now here’s something to get angry about”

  1. Another sign from g/God that Russ Feingold should run be running this country. We would not be in a dumb war over in Iraq, we wouldn’t be in this current banking debacle, and politicians would be more accountable to what campaign funding/bribes they were able to accept. Note: I am not a Democrat.

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