Monday's mentions of Glass-Steagall in the national press reflect that the aftershocks of Sanford Weill's "conversion" continue to be felt within the financial community. Featured on the NASDAQ website this morning is an editorial which reviews Weill's "Damascus Road" conversion, wherein Richard Barrington concludes: "Total separation is a much simpler solution to implement than the complex web of regulation decreed by the Dodd-Frank Act. That simplicity might actually benefit bankers, customers and taxpayers. After all, Glass-Steagall worked effectively for about 60 years. Take it from someone who knows — namely, Sanford Weill."
The only two letters featured by the Wall Street Journal this morning both dealt with Glass-Steagall. The first, from Princeton NJ, caustically "thanks" Sandy Weill for his epiphany, saying, "Banks were terrible actors in the lead-up to the 2008 financial meltdown. Taxpayers bailed out these transgressors, and Congress should constrain them from ever being able to again endanger the entire financial system. Banks should only be banks, but we should extend no thanks to Mr. Weill for realizing this so late in the story." Then, a writer from Atlantic, Iowa notes that all of Dodd-Frank was written to compensate for the repeal of Glass-Steagall, to then state the obvious: "Glass-Steagall could be reinstated and Dodd-Frank repealed in a single bill. An increase in taxpayer-financed regulatory staff would not be necessary, bankers' lives would be simpler and investors in financial instruments would be more secure."
The Daily Finance website lists a rogues gallery of half dozen leading bankers, led by former Wells Fargo CEO Richard Kovacevich, who have made statements in support of "breaking up" TBTF banks, in the two weeks since Weill made his statement. No new calls for Glass-Steagall, and mostly on the grounds of increasing "shareholder value," but again, another reflection of the impact of Weill's statement.