by Ralph Brauer | 11/27/2007 09:15:00 AM
fdrsignsglasssteagall
FDR Signs the Glass-Steagall Act (Carter Glass on Left)

Many Democrats wish Bill Clinton still occupied the White House. However, before you put him in Mt. Rushmore, you might want to investigate his role in the mortgage foreclosure crisis.

The chief aim of what I have termed the Republican Counterrevolution has always been to roll back the New Deal. Anti-gov'ment rhetoric hides this as surely as states' rights hid racist segregation. Of all the New Deal legislation the GOP has sought to overturn, one that has always been at or near the top of the list is the Glass-Steagall Act. Ironically, a Democratic president repealed this for them.

Glass-Steagall

An unre
constructed Southerner from Virginia, Carter Glass shepherded the creation of the Federal Reserve System through Congress, which has caused some to call him the "founding father of the Federal Reserve System." Later Glass would serve as Wilson's Treasury Secretary, recommending aid to Europe after World War I. Just before leaving Treasury to become senator, Glass warned about banks getting involved in stocks.

In his economic history of the Great Depression, John Kenneth Galbraith pointed out one of the causes was:
The large-scale corporate thimblerigging that was going on. This took a variety of forms, of which by far the most common was the organization of corporations to hold stock in yet other corporations, which in turn held stock in yet other corporations.
Galbraith would note:
During 1929 one investment house, Goldman, Sachs & Company, organized and sold nearly a billion dollars’ worth of securities in three interconnected investment trusts—Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation; Shenandoah Corporation; and Blue Ridge Corporation. All eventually depreciated virtually to nothing.
It is hard to imagine today what it felt like to walk through the door of a bank in those days and learn that the dollars you had earned had vanished. Every day spent working and saving had been for nothing. A great many farmers, brick layers, carpenters, factory workers believed the bankers had stolen their lives.

When Franklin Roosevelt took office, both the President and Congress knew the banking crisis demanded immediate action. The result was one of the crown jewels of the New Deal: the Glass-Steagall Act, officially known as the Banking Act of 1933. Glass made sure the bill forbid banks from getting into the investment business. In addition, the bill established the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, which protects our bank deposits.

In 1971, in Investment Company Institute v. Camp, no less than the United States Supreme Court would write what stands as the most cogent summary of the reasons for Glass-Steagall:
Congress was concerned that commercial banks in general and member banks of the Federal Reserve System in particular had both aggravated and been damaged by stock market decline partly because of their direct and indirect involvement in the trading and ownership of speculative securities.

The legislative history of the Glass-Steagall Act shows that Congress also had in mind and repeatedly focused on the more subtle hazards that arise when a commercial bank goes beyond the business of acting as fiduciary or managing agent and enters the investment banking business either directly or by establishing an affiliate to hold and sell particular investments.
Many arguments the Supreme Court advanced in support of Glass-Steagall, would prove prophetic three decades later.

Bill Clinton and the Wall of Me

Billionaire Sanford I. Weill, who according to Louis Uchitelle made "Citigroup into the most powerful financial institution since the House of Morgan a century ago," has what I call the Wall of Me leading to his office, which he has decorated with tributes to him, including a dozen framed magazine covers. A major trophy is the pen Bill Clinton used to sign the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a move which allowed Weill to create Citigroup. Fittingly, Citigroup is a major contributor to guess which current Democratic Presidential candidate?

A Frontline report on the repeal of Glass-Steagall shows how those with money end up with pens from the President of the United States on their walls.

Sandy Weill calls President Clinton in the evening to try to break the deadlock after Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, warned Citigroup lobbyist Roger Levy that Weill has to get White House moving on the bill or he would shut down the House-Senate conference. Serious negotiations resume, and a deal is announced at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 22. Whether Weill made any difference in precipitating a deal is unclear.

Just days after the administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the repeal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill's chief lieutenant. The previous year, Weill had called Secretary Rubin to give him advance notice of the upcoming merger announcement. When Weill told Rubin he had some important news, the secretary reportedly quipped, "You're buying the government?"
When Bill Clinton gave that pen to Sanford Weill, it symbolized the ending of the twentieth century Democratic Party that had created the New Deal. Although the 1999 law did not repeal all of the banking Act of 1933, retaining the FDIC, it did once again allow banks to enter the securities business, becoming what some term "whole banks."

The repeal of one of the most important pieces of legislation in this nation's history came about as a result of another Clinton "triangulation," the wobbling attempt to find the middle of the road that has somehow managed to pass for a philosophy with many Democrats for over two decades. As former Clinton former campaign Richard Morris once described it, you move a little to the left, a little to the right. I'd love to hear Clinton give that explanation to a foreclosed home owner today.

With the stroke of a pen, Bill Clinton ended an era that stretched back to William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson and reached fruition with FDR and Harry Truman. As he signed his name, in the whorls and dots of his pen strokes William Jefferson Clinton was also symbolically signing the death warrant of Liberal America and its core belief in the level playing field that had guided the Democratic Party. But it was the gift of the pen to Sanford Weill and its assuming an honored place on the Wall of Me that rubbed salt in the wound.

In his famous First Inaugural Roosevelt asserted:


Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.
Clinton not only repealed the act Roosevelt had put in place to curb those practices, but presented one of the pens used to sign it to one of those "money changers."

What Hath Clinton Wrought?

What can be said in Clinton's favor is that in 1999 few people anticipated the out-of-control growth of the hedge fund industry and the subprime mortgage market. The New York Times described the new financial world created by the repeal of Glass-Steagall in a June 2007 profile of Goldman Sachs:
While Wall Street still mints money advising companies on mergers and taking them public, real money — staggering money — is made trading and investing capital through a global array of mind-bending products and strategies unimaginable a decade ago.
Curiously, Goldman Sachs head Lloyd Blankfein paints the perfect big picture of what has happened:
We’ve come full circle, because this is exactly what the Rothschilds or J. P. Morgan, the banker were doing in their heyday. What caused an aberration was the Glass Steagall Act.
Blankfein's analysis testifies to the full impact of Bill Clinton's actions, for like many members of the Counterrevolution he sees the New Deal as an aberration and longs for a return to the days J. P. Morgan and other tycoons gave the Gilded Age its nickname. His "aberration" was eliminated not because of the actions of some radical Republican, but because of Bill Clinton. No wonder Goldman Sachs is also a prime contributor to you-know-who.

As is often the case, the story of the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the growth of the subprime mortgage market that is now crumbling around us like a financial house of cards can be best be told by a graph:

subprimemortgagegraph


If you think of this graph as the level playing field, notice how flat it was before Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall, then notice how steep it has become. Those subprime loans amount to nothing more than an organized ripoff of millions of innocent Americans, with the steepness of the graph illustrating the how far the playing field has tilted.

The result is that all of a sudden people are thinking Glass-Steagall wasn't such a bad idea after all. Robert Kuttner testified before Barney Frank's Committee on Banking and Financial Services in October, evoking the dreaded specter of the Great Depression:
Since repeal of Glass Steagall in 1999, after more than a decade of de facto inroads, super-banks have been able to re-enact the same kinds of structural conflicts of interest that were endemic in the 1920s – lending to speculators, packaging and securitizing credits and then selling them off, wholesale or retail, and extracting fees at every step along the way. And, much of this paper is even more opaque to bank examiners than its counterparts were in the 1920s. Much of it isn’t paper at all, and the whole process is supercharged by computers and automated formulas.
Then there is Dow Jones MarketWatch's Kostigen:
I'm not saying that Glass-Steagall would have made a difference to the evolution of the collateralized debt obligations. But it might have helped identify and isolated the damage.
As Congress continues to investigate the mortgage crisis, more people are wondering whether the repeal of Glass-Steagall was a mistake.

The Future of Your Mortgage

In testimony before Congress on November 8, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke painted a grim picture of the current crisis and even grimmer picture of the future:

On average from now until the end of next year, nearly 450,000 subprime mortgages per quarter are scheduled to undergo their first interest rate reset. [My emphasis]
According to a December 2006 study by the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonpartisan research and policy organization:
More than 2 million people with subprime loans are facing foreclosure this year and nearly 20 percent of subprime mortgages issued between 2005 and 2006 are projected to fail.
But numbers and testimony and even history mean little to those who suddenly find themselves up against the wall. In every city and town across this country "For Sale" signs are popping up on lawns. Behind each of those signs lies a personal story, a family tragedy, which like the tragedies of the Great Depression, tells of innocent Americans felled by an affliction they never saw coming. Walk any street in this country today--even in affluent neighborhoods--and each time you see one of those signs the hairs on the back of your own neck stand up, because those signs instill the same fear people felt when they walked into a bank in 1932 and found their money gone.

Two million people have found themselves one step away from figuratively being tossed out onto the street, the way millions were in the 1930s. Meanwhile, there are young people starting new lives for whom home ownership is rapidly receding, middle-aged people who finally had scraped together enough for a down payment only to find they can't get a mortgage and older people for whom their home was their retirement and now find its value dropping like George Bush's poll numbers. Finally there are even millions more for whom the collateral damage from the crises promises to cast its shadow over their American Dream.

The International Monetary Fund recently drew the following lessons from various financial crisis:
  • It is difficult to tell at the time whether a financial crisis will have broader economic consequences

  • Regulators often cannot keep up with the pace of financial innovation that may trigger a crisis.
  • Both have characterized what happened after the repeal of Glass-Steagall. It is too bad Bill Clinton did not have their wisdom when he made his decision, but then when you make decisions by triangulating, how much weight do you give such studies?

    And the current crop of politicians? Look closely at their donor lists, which I detailed in the series "Follow the Money." Then wonder why no moderator or other candidate has asked Hillary Clinton if she supports her husband's repeal of Glass-Steagall? Ask the other candidates if they support Bill Clinton's move.

    Meanwhile the signs keep sprouting and the playing field keeps tilting and soon the snow will start to fall, drifting against the signs. How many more people will have lost their homes when the snow melts?

    Crosspost: The Strange Death of Liberal America



    NOTE:This article is covered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and may not be used without permission of the author.







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    446 Comments:


    Anonymous Jesse Hemingway on 11/28/2007 1:00 AM:

    I see no difference between the Clintons and the Bush family power is their god and death is their fruit and gift to mankind.


    Quote:
    "Cockburn notes that “US officials were fearful that Iraq would be officially certified as weapons-free.” The threat of alleged Iraqi WMD was the main pretext for devastating sanctions against Iraq that were a key element of US Middle East policy throughout the 1990s. These sanctions were, moreover, increasingly controversial inside the US, as their immense toll in Iraqi lives became known to a section of the public."

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/oct2007/ekeu-o18.shtml



    Bill Clinton Rewrites History on Iraq?
    November 27, 2007 7:19 PM

    ABC News' Teddy Davis, Eloise Harper, and Nancy Flores Report: Former President Bill Clinton portrayed himself as having been against the Iraq war "from the beginning" while campaigning Tuesday for his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, in Iowa.

    "Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning," said Clinton, "I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers."

    Clinton has long been critical of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and called it a "big mistake" as far back as November of 2005.

    But like his wife, the former president supported giving President Bush the authority needed to go to war.

    "I supported the President when he asked the Congress for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," said Clinton in 2003 while delivering commencement remarks at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss.

    Early opposition to the Iraq war is one of the sharpest dividing lines between Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who voted to authorize force in 2002, and Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama, D-Ill., who was not in Congress at the time but spoke out against it.



    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/oct2007/ekeu-o18.shtml





    Bill Clinton Rewrites History on Iraq?
    Email
    Share November 27, 2007 7:19 PM

    ABC News' Teddy Davis, Eloise Harper, and Nancy Flores Report: Former President Bill Clinton portrayed himself as having been against the Iraq war "from the beginning" while campaigning Tuesday for his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, in Iowa.

    "Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning," said Clinton, "I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers."

    Clinton has long been critical of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and called it a "big mistake" as far back as November of 2005.

    But like his wife, the former president supported giving President Bush the authority needed to go to war.

    "I supported the President when he asked the Congress for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," said Clinton in 2003 while delivering commencement remarks at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss.

    Early opposition to the Iraq war is one of the sharpest dividing lines between Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who voted to authorize force in 2002, and Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama, D-Ill., who was not in Congress at the time but spoke out against it.

    A spokesman for Bill Clinton tried to downplay the former president's comments by distinguishing between the authority to go to war, which both Clintons supported, and President Bush's decision to use that authority when he did.

    "As he said from the beginning and many times since," said Clinton spokesperson Jay Carson, "President Clinton disagreed with taking the country to war in Iraq without allowing the weapons inspectors to finish their jobs."

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/11/bill-clinton-re.html

     

    Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/28/2007 11:24 PM:

    God damn, Ralph -- this is big. Incredibly enough, I did not even know that Glass-Steagall had been repealed. Why have I not read about this anywhere else?

    I sincerely hope THIS is going in your book, because your cogent analysis of Glass-Steagall -- and of the sheer depravity of Lloyd Blankfein's absolutely outrageous comment, which I also had not heard about -- is really path-breaking.

     

    Blogger Lisa Pease on 11/29/2007 11:45 PM:

    I second Jeremy's comments. I've become more and more interested in how money grows and flows in our economic system, and the Glass-Steagall limitations sure made sense.

    My only objection here is that it sounds like Clinton himself repealed this. While Clinton and his administration are certainly guilty of signing this into law, it was a Republican congress that passed the legislation. I'm not a big fan of Clinton's, by any stretch. But I've learned that a president's power is usually nowhere near as large as the media paints it to be. I'd be curious if there were enough votes to override a veto. Maybe Clinton considered it but would have lost that battle anyway, and so chose not to fight it. I think the facts of banking industry should be the focus, not Clinton, in this debacle.

     

    Blogger Ralph Brauer on 11/30/2007 11:28 PM:

    Jeremy, I am honored by your comment. The book is still taking shape, so certainly some of the research might go into it.

    Lisa's comment echoes a few the piece has received, saying blame the Republicans not Clinton. I have a piece up now on my site that has the actual debate on the bill which makes for fascinating reading. If you like I could move it over here, but wondered if people had enough of this issue.

    The vote was veto-proof, but as I say in the follow-up piece, party members tend to back their president, so if Clinton had actively opposed the bill the outcome might have been different.

    Also, as Frontline's investigation pointed out, Clinton took an active role in getting the bill passed, intervening at a crucial point.

    The piece could have been written from several angles: Clinton, the banks, the GOP. To me Clinton is the most interesting. The banks and the GOP behaved as you would have expected them to.

    Clinton's behavior, on the other hand, represented a repudiation of all that the Democratic Party had stood for for most of the twentieth century.

    I have some other pieces coming up on both Clinton and Reagan that will make the importance of this shift clearer.

     

    Anonymous Adam on 12/03/2007 9:41 PM:

    Yes Ralph, I am also interested in your book.

    I have become more interested in how the bankers operate. Especially after learning that today's money is printed out of thin air.

    Banks have WAY too much power, and I see very little use for them.

    Adam

    ==
    I want to thank V, the #1 Pick Up Artist, for bettering my life
    ==

     

    Blogger Robster on 2/03/2008 2:09 PM:

    Ralph, thank you for writing this post. I knew Bill Clinton had a role in this mortgage lending fiasco. Thanks for showing us the truth.

     

    Anonymous foreclosurefish on 4/07/2008 12:02 PM:

    That's an amazing story, although not unexpected. The repeal of Glass-Steagall signified the takeover of the entire economy by the banking system. After the privatizations of the 1980's, deregulating the banks and allowing them to turn into debt-creating monstrosities with the Federal Reserve as bailer-out of last resort started us down the path to the subprime crisis and housing collapse.

    It's impossible to tell any difference between big business and big government these days. Both are owned by the bankrupt banks at this point.

     

    Anonymous Anonymous on 9/16/2008 12:10 PM:

    This is a terribly incomplete telling of the story -- so much history left out/ignored.

    The demise of Glass-Steagall took place over a period of twenty years going back to Greenspan's "reinterpretations" back in the 1980's.

    The "teeth" in Glass Steagall were all but completely gone by the time it was "repealed" in 1999.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wallstreet/weill/demise.html

     

    Anonymous Brian on 9/19/2008 9:16 AM:

    You seemed to miss some major points: This bill was penned by two Republicans and passed by the Republican house & senate in its initial form. After going to conference committee the final bill passed 90-8 in the senate and 362-57 in the House. It's strange to me that you constantly refer to "Bill Clinton repealing the act" as the major problem when he had no practical decision in the matter. While it might have prevented this type of revisionary history pieces, HIS SIGNING or vetoing would have MADE NO DIFFERENCE with the > 2/3 majority in both house and senate able to override his veto.

    Shortly:

    REPUBLICANS WROTE IT, PASSED IT, AND MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO VETO!

    (yet, you blame Bill Clinton???)

     

    Blogger Patrick on 9/22/2008 8:26 AM:

    Sorry guys. The Democrats took control of congress in 1995. Even if the Republicans started the bill to repeal the Democrats voted overwhelmingly for it.......and then there are the lobbyists who were behind the pressure (and probably money) to pass it. Citibanks ceo has the pen that Bill Clinton used to sign it on his wall. Guess politicians on both sides were responsible but Bill Clinton who didn't have the wisdom to keep his pants zipped certainly proved he didn't have the wisdom to see how this would destroy America. The real losers sadly are the average Americans who are watching their retirements, their homes, and all of their hard earned money disappear. This is going to make the great depression look like an economic achievement.

     

    Blogger Jeremy Young on 9/22/2008 1:20 PM:

    The Democrats took control of congress in 1995.

    This is inaccurate. The Republicans took control of Congress in 1995.

     

    Anonymous Anonymous on 9/22/2008 1:38 PM:

    "Progressive" history has come to mean inaccurate, slanted history.
    Here is a contemporaneous article covering the story of this bill's passage.
    …The breakthrough in Friday's legislation came ....when a group of moderate Senate Democrats -- led by Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Charles E. Schumer of New York -- forced a compromise between Gramm and the White House over the legislation's effect on the Community Reinvestment Act, a 1977 anti-discrimination law intended to encourage lending to minorities and others historically denied access to credit.
    Dodd, whose state is home to the nation's largest insurance companies, and Schumer, with strong ties to Wall Street, have long sought legislation to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act. ...
    Gramm had maintained that he did not want anything in the bill that would expand the application of the Community Reinvestment….
    Gramm's measure was defeated by one vote, it quickly became clear that there would be no law unless Gramm could get some Democrats to break from the White House....
    ….For more than 20 years, Congress has tried unsuccessfully to rewrite the nation's financial services laws and repeal Glass-Steagall, particularly as many other industrial nations had no similar restrictions on their banks. But until recently, the three main industries affected by the legislation -- banks, securities companies and insurers -- had competing interests and were able to lobby any legislation to a standstill….

    The final bill passed in the Senate 90-8-1 and in the House: 362-57-15.
    Only fools veto veto-proof legislation. If you read the article, you would learn that Clinton fought hard to keep Democrats in line in order to prevent Republicans from gutting another important piece of legislation.
    The persons most directly responsible were Phil Gramm, supporter of John McCain, Dodd, Schumer, Leach and Rubin, all supporters of Barack Obama.

    Jesse Hemingway said...I see no difference between the Clintons and the Bush family….
    Of course not. It's not the intent of 'progressives' to distinguish them. While Democrats willingly voted for war supporter Kerry in 2004 and Obama selected a major war supporter for VP in Joe Biden, it is 'progressive' dogma that Clinton is responsible for the Iraq war despite her clear statement that
    …I believe the best course is to go to the UN for a strong resolution that scraps the 1998 restrictions on inspections and calls for complete, unlimited inspections with cooperation expected and demanded from Iraq. I know that the Administration wants more, including an explicit authorization to use force, but we may not be able to secure that now, perhaps even later. But if we get a clear requirement for unfettered inspections, I believe the authority to use force to enforce that mandate is inherent in the original 1991 UN resolution, as President Clinton recognized when he launched Operation Desert Fox in 1998.….
    Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation….

    Mike

     

    Blogger Joseph on 9/22/2008 11:29 PM:

    My piece "Hard Times? Blame Clinton!" is listed under "Links to this post." Unfortunately, some readers may get the impression that approve of Brauer. Here is a sample of what I wrote:

    "Both the right and (especially) the left blame Bill Clinton for the current financial crisis, though for very different reasons. Of course, both progs and reactionaries blame Clinton for everything -- up to and including the Chernobyl disaster, the 1972 remake of Lost Horizon, Britney's "haircut moment" and your aching back...."

    "The prog party line -- as explicated by this unconscionable piece of filth, written by a liar named Ralph Brauer -- holds that Bill Clinton set the crisis in motion when he (supposedly) replaced the FDR-era Glass-Steigel Act."

    "Here's the part that the the progs won't tell you about: The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed by a veto-proof majority in a Republican-controlled Congress.

    "In spite of that inconvenient fact of history, Brauer writes:

    ""Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall."

    "See? This proves what I've said for months -- the difference between liberals (such as myself) and progressives is that progressives lie. Progressives cannot say "Hi!" without lying."

    "Clinton fought to get the best deal that he could, but gale-force political winds were against him.

    "Yes, you can blame the repeal of Glass-Steagall on Democrats -- not all of them, perhaps not the majority of 'em, but a good number of 'em. But you can't blame Bill Clinton. Blaming Bill Clinton is like blaming Raoul Wallenberg for not defeating the Wehrmacht single-handed.

    "(Of course, the Kossack left will find strained rationalizations for doing just that. There's always a rationalization, isn't there?)"

    That's just a piece of it.

    Brauer -- you are no different from that Friedmanite piece of crap Neil Boortz (who is also dissed in my article). People like you have made me feel as alienated from the left as I am by the right.

    Lisa -- you would not remember me. But I expect better of you.

    You're a great researcher -- I love your Probe stuff -- but you sometimes have a habit of diving in without double-checking. Around twelve years ago, on usenet, you used to love to reprint a quote by Winston Churchill. You didn't know that the quote came from a laudatory review of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a review which Churchill wrote in 1920 and soon deeply regretted.

    This is another instance where you bit into the burrito without checking its contents.

    Well, we all make mistakes.

     

    Blogger Jeremy Young on 9/23/2008 9:57 AM:

    Joseph, I'm the editor of this site. The links on that list are automatically generated, but I can delete them individually, and I've now deleted yours (as it seems you prefer).

    As for the remainder of your post, I read it at its original location. I'm glad readers here can see your comparison between Ralph Brauer, one of the gentlest men I know, and Neal Boortz, the former Lester Maddox speechwriter who calls Muslims "ragheads" and "bloodthirsty cretins," labels Katrina victims as "garbage" and "worthless parasites," and mocks disabled nine-year-olds -- so they can see that comparison and realize the misguided depravity of your hatred.

    Cordially yours,
    Jeremy Young
    Editor, ProgressiveHistorians.com

     

    Anonymous Lester Marks on 10/01/2008 8:19 AM:

    Isn't it convenient for Republicans to blame Bill Clinton for passing legislation they supported for the current financial mess that is occurring nearly ten years after the fact. George Bush has been President for nearly eight years. How can every failed Bush policy be Clinton's fault unless Bush has done absolutely nothing in office. Oh wait ... how lucky we would all be if that were only true.

    L. Marks

     

    Blogger Jeremy Young on 10/01/2008 12:11 PM:

    Lester, if you haven't noticed, this isn't a Republican site.

     

    Blogger cybercorrespondent on 10/03/2008 10:42 AM:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     

    Blogger Jeremy Young on 10/03/2008 2:55 PM:

    Cybercorrespondent, there are limits to what constitutes free speech on this blog, and outright slander against a Presidential candidate transgresses those limits. Please don't post a comment like that again.

     

    Blogger Richard on 10/10/2008 12:57 PM:

    To accuse Clinton of this as if he were the one who thought it up and pressed congress for it is either an intentional attempt to deceive or and utter lack of regard for the facts.

    The bill: The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was brought to Congress by two Republicans, Phil Gramm (R-Tx) and Jim Leach (R-Iowa) and passed along a party line vote 54R - 44D. It then went to commitee and after coming out was passed by a veto proof margin 90-8 in the senate and 362-57 in the house.

    Even if Clinton had wanted to veto it it would have been pointless, the Republicans would have over ridden and passed it anyway.

     

    Anonymous Anonymous on 10/13/2008 9:41 AM:

    Let's just see what Clinton had to say about it. He might not have been able to veto it, but this is what he and his admin said:



    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A03E6DF143DF930A25752C1A96F958260


    The New York Times, November 13, 1999:


    President Clinton signed into law today a sweeping overhaul of Depression-era banking laws. The measure lifts barriers in the industry and allows banks, securities firms and insurance companies to merge and to sell each other's products.

    ''This legislation is truly historic,'' President Clinton told a packed audience of lawmakers and top financial regulators. ''We have done right by the American people.''

    The bill repeals parts of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and the 1956 Bank Holding Company Act...
    ''The world changes, and Congress and the laws have to change with it,'' said Senator Phil Gramm...

    ''With this bill,'' Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said, ''the American financial system takes a major step forward toward the 21st Century -- one that will benefit American consumers, business and the national economy.''


    It's an open and shut case. Clinton was no FDR Democrat. And neither were any of the people like Larry Summers who worked for him.

     

    Anonymous Anonymous on 10/13/2008 9:42 AM:

    And what did The Nation Magazine have to say, on Nov 15, 1999:

    http://www.thenation.com/archive/detail/14239331




    For their money, the finance industry bought not only the end of the Glass-Steagall Act but also the partial repeal of the Bank Holding Company Act. These landmark pieces of legislation, RECOGNIZING THE INHERENT DANGERS OF TOO GREAT A CONCENTRATION OF FINANCIAL POWER, barred common ownership of banks, insurance companies, and securities firms... THE MISNAMED FINANCIAL SERVICES MODERNIZATION ACT WILL USHER IN ANOTHER ROUND OF RECORD-BREAKING MERGERS... concentrating financial power in trillion-dollar global giants AND PAVING THE WAY FOR FUTURE TAXPAYER BAILOUTS OF TOO-BIG-TO-FAIL FINANCIAL CORPORATIONS.


    As usual, the real progressives were right. Clinton is not a progressive, and never was.

     

    Anonymous Anonymous on 11/12/2008 2:17 PM:

    Consider also - that the Clinton administration sucked some $600 billion out of the economy in a really short period of time. Perhaps some, maybe even most, of this should have been returned to the workers, the middle class that actually produced this wealth. Bill Clinton treated it like it was government's money, like government produced the wealth. Had this been split 50/50 with the workers - well - we can only speculate but I can't see how it wouldn't have been a better outcome than what we've got now.

     

    Anonymous Anonymous on 11/12/2008 5:17 PM:

    This is the true face of the NWO!

    Pay carefull attention to the logo on Kissingers lectern. This picture is truly worth a thousand words, it says it all! Be advised that these leaked photos and information are disturbing.

    http://www.hismailroom.org

     

    Blogger RB on 11/13/2008 6:30 AM:

    #######
    #######

    There's a conspiracy afoot behind
    the apparent mismanagement of U.S.
    fianancials, which conspiracy was
    begun in the 1940s, during the
    GATT formulations. Read and learn
    the truth of what's afoot:

    Planned Destruction of America
    http://planneddestructionofamerica.blogspot.com/

    #######
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