Sometimes meaningful reform to reign in rampant self-dealing and corruption in the government and financial system can seem hopeless. And then something encouraging happens: last week on May 16, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IO) introduced in the US Senate, S. 985 a companion Glass-Steagall bill. See: Bankster Alert
“Sen. Tom Harkin on Thursday introduced S. 985, which would rebuild the wall that had once separated commercial banking from brokerage and investment speculation. The Iowa Democrat’s bill came on the 80th anniversary of the original 1933 Glass Steagall Act.
The text of S.985 was not posted on the Senate website as of Friday afternoon, but it is believed to resemble HR 129, introduced by Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Walter Jones, R-N.C. Their measure has 62 bipartisan sponsors in the House.
Meantime, 20 state legislatures are considering resolutions urging Congress to reinstate Glass-Steagall. Lawmakers in four states — South Dakota, Maine, Indiana and Alabama – have passed such measures.
Harkin was one of eight senators to vote against financial deregulation that formally abolished Glass-Steagall in 1999.
The repeal, signed by President Bill Clinton in the waning days of his administration, cleared the way for Wall Street bankers to expand trading in bundled subprime mortgages, derivatives, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps and the like.
Inventing evermore exotic investment vehicles, the money movers pumped up a global financial bubble that burst in 2008.”