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Out Of Mind » DINARIAN SCAMTASTIC NEWS » RV/GCR, GURU CHATTER & NESARA INFO »  Understanding the Glass-Steagall Act

Understanding the Glass-Steagall Act

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1 Understanding the Glass-Steagall Act on Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:37 pm



Understanding the Glass-Steagall Act

By Drake

Posted on 08/03/2012

Understanding How Glass-Steagall Act Impacts Investment Banking and the Role of Commercial Banks

Contents At A Glance

Use these hyperlinks to jump to the particular section; use the
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Introduction to the Glass-Steagall Act

Causes For and Brief History of Glass-Steagall Act

Carter Glass and Henry Steagall

Restrictions and Repeals in the Bank Holding Company Act

The Provisions Within the Sections of the Glass-Steagall Act

The Generally Accepted Rationale for the Separation of Commercial and Investment Banking

A Summary of the Rationale Leading up to the Enactment of the Glass Steagall Act

Introduction to the Glass-Steagall Act

The Glass-Steagall Act has remained one of the pillars of banking
law since its passage in 1933 by erecting a wall between commercial
banking and investment banking. In effect, the law keeps banks from
doing business on Wall Street, and vice versa. In actuality, there are
two Glass Steagall measures. The first was the Glass-Steagall Act of
1932, a bookkeeping provision that allowed the Treasury to balance its
account. And what is commonly known today as the Glass-Steagall law is
actually the Bank Act of 1933, containing the provision erecting a wall
between the banking and securities businesses. It also laid the
groundwork for legislation that would allow the Federal Reserve to let
banks into the securities business in a limited way.

Causes For and Brief History of Glass-Steagall Act

Fundamental to an understanding of the passage of the Glass-Steagall
Act is the fact that by 1933 the U.S. was in one of the worst
depressions of its history. A quarter of the formerly working population
was unemployed. The nation’s banking system was chaotic. Over 11,000
banks had failed or had to merge, reducing the number by 40 per cent,
from 25,000 to 14,000. The governors of several states had closed
their states’ banks and in March President Roosevelt closed all the
banks in the country. Congressional hearings conducted in early 1933
seemed to show that the presumed leaders of American enterprise — the
bankers and brokers — were guilty of disreputable and seemingly
dishonest dealings and gross misuses of the public’s trust. Looking
back, some historians have come to a different conclusion about the role
such abuses played in bringing down banks. Some historians now say the
chief culprit of bank failures was the Depression itself, which caused
real estate and other values to fall, undermining bank loans. Securities
abuses played a minimal role in the collapse of banks, these historians
say, and caused few failures among the New York banks with the largest
Wall Street operations.

The Banking Act of 1933 was probably the newly-elected Roosevelt
administration’s most important response to the perceived shambles of
the nation’s financial and economic system. But the Act did not change
the most important weakness of the American banking system — unit
banking within states and the prohibition of nationwide banking. This
structure is considered the principal reason for the failure of so many
U.S. Banks, some 90 percent of which were unit banks with under $2
million in assets. (In contrast, Canada, which had nationwide banking,
suffered no bank failures and only a few of the over 11,000 U.S. Banks
that failed or merged were branch banks.) Instead, the Act established
new approaches to financial regulation — particularly the institution of
deposit insurance and the legal separation of most aspects of
commercial and investment banking (the principal exception being
allowing commercial banks to underwrite most government-issued bonds)....

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