Here's a fun one to read...
It's a NYT's article from 1999 about a new bill that just passed.
CONGRESS PASSES WIDE-RANGING BILL EASING BANK LAWS
Great quotes from the article:
"''Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,'' Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said. ''This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.''
''The world changes, and we have to change with it"
Senator Bob Kerrey
: ''The concerns that we will have a meltdown like 1929 are dramatically overblown,''
Senator Byron L. Dorgan
: ''I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930's is true in 2010,''
Senator Paul Wellstone:
''Scores of banks failed in the Great Depression as a result of unsound banking practices, and their failure only deepened the crisis,'' Mr. Wellstone said. ''Glass-Steagall was intended to protect our financial system by insulating commercial banking from other forms of risk. It was one of several stabilizers designed to keep a similar tragedy from recurring. Now Congress is about to repeal that economic stabilizer without putting any comparable safeguard in its place.''
But consumer groups and civil rights advocates criticized the legislation for being a sop to the nation's biggest financial institutions. They say that it fails to protect the privacy interests of consumers and community lending standards for the disadvantaged and that it will create more problems than it solves.
The opponents of the measure gloomily predicted that by unshackling banks and enabling them to move more freely into new kinds of financial activities, the new law could lead to an economic crisis down the road when the marketplace is no longer growing briskly.
Man, those pesky and gloomy consumer groups and civil rights advocates sure do have some great insights... I wonder why they were ignored?