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Bill Moyers: On Big Banks’ Power and Influence

March 19, 2012

One of the largest happenings in the financial world, which then spilled over to everyone else’s world as the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act.  This happened under Bill Clinton’s watch.  Essentially what the repeal of this act did was allow major banks to become gamblers in the casino of the world’s financial markets.

The repeal allowed banks to bet against their clients positions.  In other words banks could sell lousy products, that they knew were lousy (mortgage backed securities anyone), and then bet against them.  Glass-Steagall was enacted after the Great Depression and it protected this country for over 70 years, that is, until former “Maestro” Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, right-winger from Texas Phil Gramm, and Clinton’s right-hand money man, Robert Rubin got their claws into it.

This triumvirate of connected insiders put forth the path that allowed big banks to gamble to their hearts’ content, and gamble they did, with reckless abandon that ultimately caused the meltdown of 2008, which we are still feeling to this day and will continue to feel.

If you really want to know why we are having layoffs in school districts across this nation, why classrooms are stacked with 40 students, why there is no art, music, wood-working, or vocational classes look no further than the repeal of Glass-Steagall.  It is the root of everything with regard to setting the stage for the financial meltdown.  I know many of my readers eyes will gloss over on this topic, but to me it is fascinating.  Glass-Steagall needs to be put back in force as our banks are still gigantic players in the financial casino, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon.


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