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U.S. Senators Put Glass-Steagall onto the Agenda

July 9, 2015 (EIRNS)—Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Angus King (I-Me.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), introduced a 21st-Century Glass-Steagall Act on July 7, finally putting the crucial FDR-style legislation before both Houses of the U.S. Congress. HR 381, Rep. Marcy Kaptur’s bill (S.1709) for reinstating Glass-Steagall protections, currently has 60 co-sponsors.

Within minutes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s announcement, the City of London’s Financial Times published an understated note from their Washington, D.C., correspondent (“U.S. Senators Plot Glass-Steagall Resurrection”), admitting that while London counts on the Republicans to block the bill, it “will cause concern among big ‘universal’ banks.”

Too bad for Wall Street and London. Representatives of broader U.S. social forces were already jumping into action to get Congress to enact Glass-Steagall, now that both the Senate and House have bills before them. As Lyndon LaRouche, upon hearing the news, said would happen, the Senate action touched off an “igniting process,” which can’t be closed off. “Once people are told that Glass-Steagall is available, you’re going to have a shock effect,” including “a panic on Wall Street ... [which will set] the pigs stampeding through the halls and streets of Manhattan,” LaRouche chuckled.

Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Martin O’Malley quickly tweeted his “thanks” to sponsors Warren, McCain, Cantwell, and King for reintroducing Glass-Steagall. It’s essential in preventing another crash.” Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green told The Hill that the bill’s introduction was “great news.... Wall Street reform should be among the economic populist issues at the center of the 2016 debate.”

Labor weighed in, with AFL-CIO Secretary General Richard Trumpka issuing a statement declaring,

“[W]e applaud the reintroduction of the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, which will help restore our out-of-balance economy so that it works for working families.... Now is the time to change the rules and close loopholes that enable the big Wall Street banks to benefit themselves and increase their political power...”

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), representing a coalition of numerous national and state organizations “joined together to fix our financial sector,” had a statement out within an hour, backing the Senate action to “restore the historic division between traditional (or commercial) banking world and the casino world of trading and speculating.”

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