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THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT
HOW DID WE GET TO WHERE WE ARE AT??
The causes of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed have been analyzed and dissected way to many times. Many want to think that by studying this phenomenon we will never have to repeat that scenario again. Unfortuantely, human nature, good old fear and greed, always rears its ugly head.
I am not going to beat a dead horse, but would like to point out some of the obvious issues we face in our current economic situation; too many of which closely parallel what happened ninety years ago.
The main purpose of the two laws passed under the Glass-Seagall Act was to combat the deflation of the 30s, expand the power of the Fed, establish the FDIC, and stem the collapse of the commercial banking system. In addition, the law was designed to create a barrier to the mixing of commercial and investment banking activities which led in part to the Crash. In the early 1930s, congressional hearings revealed conflicts of interest and fraud in some of the bank's securities activities. The hope was that this law would provide a separation of the entities involved in the business of money and investment activities to ... more
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