More Motion In the United States For Glass-Steagall
August 21, 2012 • 10:18AM

The discussion and prominence of the policy urgency of reinstating Glass-Steagall into law, continues in the United States.

ARIZONA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Arizona's newly created (no incumbent) 9th CD, has posted her 12-point "Arizona Jobs Plan," which includes restoring Glass-Steagall as point #7. Sinema, who, although she was the first to declare, is now running in a crowded field (primary next Tuesday), says, "A stable banking system is absolutely necessary if the private sector is going to have the resources it needs to grow. Passed after the Great Depression, the Glass-Steagall Act separated ordinary commercial banks (where families park their savings) from risky investment banks (which make complicated and opaque investments). Glass-Steagall kept our banking system safe for over 65 years. Separating commercial banks from risky, high-flying investment banks is the best way to protect the banking system from future financial crises.

"Glass-Steagall was repealed in 1999, and despite calls from both Democrats and Republicans to restore Glass-Steagall's separation of commercial banks and investment banks, the Obama administration opposed this reform. This is a bipartisan proposal, and was even supported by Senator John McCain. Sometimes, the key to securing our future can be found in our past. I support restoring Glass-Steagall's separation of commercial banks and investment banks in order to protedt consumers from banking failures like those of 2008." Point #5 in the Plan supports "making the Research and Development tax credit permanent."

CNN COMMENTATOR ROLAND S. MARTIN. The recent flap about Joe Biden's remarks that "they're going to put y'all back in chains" is put into perspective yesterday by black columnist Roland Martin, a CNN contributor. After giving the complete context of Biden's comment, where he led by saying, "[Romney's] going to once again let the big banks write their own rules— Unchain Wall Street..." Martin emphasizes that it was, in fact, the banks which are to blame, and quotes Neil Barofsky's $23.7 bail-out trillion figure. While chiding Romney as the bankers' choice, he mentions that Paul Ryan (in one of his better moments) "talked openly about reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, which was enacted in 1933 to protect Americans by preventing commercial banks from also being investment banks." Martin identifies that Ryan voted to repeal Glass-Steagall in 1999.

NEW HAMPSHIRE LETTER TO THE EDITOR. A reader of the Seacoast (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), Dick Rozek, writes a letter to the editor, which, after opening remarks about Sandy Weill's conversion, says: "For six decades, Glass-Steagall kept commercial banks separated from Wall Street and ordinary people's money relatively safe from the financial sector's whims. That changed in 1999 when a law created by Texas Sen. Phil Gramm and two other Republican legislators [Bliley and Leach] removed the barriers and allowed banks to act as both commercial and investment entities. Gramm says 'no evidence' exists that blocking Glass-Steagall 'had anything to do with the financial crisis.' Score zero for Gramm....

"Republican Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., says his vote to repeal Glass-Steagall 13 years ago is one of the 'two worst votes I made in my career' (his vote for the Iraq War was the other). He's co-sponsoring a bill that would again prevent banks that accept depositors' guaranteed deposits from engaging in investment banking activities. Score one for Jones."