Posted by Larry Doyle on April 21st, 2014 9:44 AM |
I do not think there is any single piece of legislation in the last 50 years that has had such a profoundly detrimental impact on the American public than the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial and investment banking.
That repeal is certainly not the sole factor that led to the economic crisis of 2008 and the ongoing pain we experience today, but it was certainly critical to the eventual meltdown. There is no great revelation in that assessment.
The recent release of documents from the Clinton Presidential Library provides real transparency on the dynamic at play back in the mid to late ’90s that led to the eventual dismantling of Glass-Steagall. Perhaps no surprise that we have yet to see meaningful review of these documents from media outlets on our side of the pond, but the UK-based The Guardian hits these revealing documents hard.
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 7th, 2014 7:05 AM |
I inadvertently overlooked a recent commentary written by a Sense on Cents favorite, Simon Johnson, that ran at Project Syndicate.
Johnson writes a fabulous piece entitled Truth From the Top highlighting the work of former Fed governor Thomas Hoenig about just how fragile our banking system truly is and how the politics of promoting the ‘too big to fail’ model have persisted. Let’s navigate.
It is unusual for a senior government official to produce a short, clear analytical paper. It is even rarer when the official’s argument both cuts to the core of the issue and amounts to a devastating critique of the existing order. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on December 18th, 2009 11:18 AM |
Might we turn the clock back in an attempt to make our way forward? How so?
Pressure is certainly building in America to curtail, if not derail, the excessive risks embedded in our largest banks. How may these risks be unwound? Reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banking activities. If this Act were to be reinstated, that would be the end of the mega-banks (Citi, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo) as we know them.
Who has been harping on this? Former Fed Chair Paul Volcker. Although Wall Street and Washington turn a deaf ear to Volcker, America listens to him intently.
In September, I wrote “Volcker Launches Bombshell on Wall Street and Washington” which highlighted Volcker’s call to reinstate Glass-Steagall. That story resonated far and wide. Now we learn from the American Banker that Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John McCain (R-AZ) have introduced legislation which would once again separate commercial and investment banking activities. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on December 3rd, 2009 3:16 PM |
A car needs gas to run. An engine needs steam. A factory needs power. The fact is without a steady source of energy nothing can operate. Welcome to the Uncle Sam economy circa 2009.
You may be thinking, wait a second LD . . . the Federal Reserve is flushing the system with liquidity. Money is easy and it is propping the markets. While availability of credit may be tight, the demand for credit is also weak. So what am I talking about?
Thanks to RM for providing the FDIC Third Quarter 2009 Banking Profile (a link to the full document is provided at the end of this commentary). For those who care to rip apart the inner workings of our banking system, this report is the owner’s manual. The report highlights the following:
> Industry Posts Net Profit of $2.8 Billion
> Increased Revenues, Lower Securities Losses Offset Higher Loan-Loss Provisions
> Net Interest Margins Improve at Most Institutions
> Troubled Loans Continue to Rise, But Rate of Growth Slows
> Loan balances Decline by 2.8% in the Quarter
Based on this overview, it would appear that the banking industry is slowly recovering. In aggregate, perhaps that may be the case. But what doesn’t this report tell us? (more…)