I remember saying, over and over again, during the Bush Regime, that we had such fond memories of Bill Clinton,k only because he benefited from comparison to his successor, the worst President in US history. If fact, Clinton was the most conservative Democratic president in my lifetime, that goes back to Harry Truman. In my opinion, his worst policy was to support the removal of Glass-Steagall, the law that separated commercial banks and investment banks. One Democrat led the unsuccessful fight to prevent that and continues to lead the fight to restore it. He talked to Bill Moyers.
Bill Moyers talks with former Senator Byron Dorgan about making sure big banks play by rules that protect consumers from financial calamity, and how those big banks continue to leverage power and influence to avoid responsibility while maximizing profits. Dorgan was a nearly-lone voice in Congress in 1999 when he predicted economic calamity following a repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and its protective measures. But given the economic meltdown nearly 10 years later, it turned out to be one of the most prescient speeches in American political history.
“If you were to rank big mistakes in the history of this country,” Dorgan tells Moyers, “that was one of the bigger ones, because it has set back this country in a very significant way and caused so much heartbreak and heartache, and a near total collapse of the American economy.”… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Truth-out>
Here’s the video.
Obama and almost every Democrat supported both of those Dorgan amendments to Dodd-Frank, which would have broken up the TBTF banks and made Dodd-Frank much stronger. Although many blame Obama, the real blame belongs to the Republican Party, who filibustered and goose-stepped unanimously against them, plus the two DINOs that goose-stepped with the Republicans. They were Joe LIEberman (ASSHOLE-CT) and “Benedict” Nelson (TURNCOAT-NE). The votes fell one short of sixty.
The primary functions of Investment bankers are to provide venture capital and to speculate. The primary functions of commercial bankers are to hold people’s accounts and to lend. Under Glass-Steagall deposits supported lending, which when done properly is safer, but produces lower returns, while investments supported speculation, which is more risky with a potential for higher returns. Without Glass-Steagall to keep those functions separate, Banksters can use deposits for high risk speculation, leaving little funds for normal lending.
Dodd-Frank did some good things, but we need Glass-Steagall back in addition to other reforms to curb Bankster predation on US citizens.