Friday, July 26, 2013

Money Will Find a Way

Fifty years ago some investment bonds were less a piece of clever financial engineering than elaborate tax dodges. The increasing movement of money into speculative trading activities by the big banks, and the cost of decreasing traditional business activity that support higher levels of employment are troubling. Some call the trend a gambling device more easily manipulated than investment in production of goods and services. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has introduced legislation that seeks to return the financial industry, particularly the big banks, to a time when there was a strict divide between traditional conservative banking based on industrial needs instead of speculative activities looking for manipulated big hits. Warren’s liberal bill is also sponsored by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and other conservatives to protect the vast sums guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), that would minimize the real cost of bank bailouts. For about 70 years, similar legislation, the Glass-Steagall Bill, managed to keep the riskier aspects of Wall Street operations away from the historic traditional form of business financing. Glass-Steagall, passed by the New Deal, operated with good and fair results until it was repealed in 1999 at the urging of President Bill Clinton. The Warren bill would force deposit-taking banks to cease most of their derivative trading and other risky financial activities. The new bill would not stop all questionable financial instruments but it would go a long way in reestablishing diminished public confidence


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