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London Is Worrying about U.S. Glass-Steagall Drive

July 20, 2015 (EIRNS)—London’s Financial Times displayed today its nervousness over Glass-Steagall seizing the cutting edge in the U.S. presidential elections, by dredging-up discredited sleazeball Barney Frank to deliver

"a message for Elizabeth Warren and her band of progressive Democrats: building a wall between traditional lenders and riskier investment banks is not the way to make the financial system safer."

The London paper worries that the Democratic Party is splitting between those who back Glass-Steagall ("long-shot challengers" Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders, among them), and those standing with Wall Street. Hillary Clinton, it writes, is "trying to straddle that divide." Anti-Glass-Steagall campaigner Barney Frank (of "Dodd-Frank" notoriety) tells the Financial Times that he has "given advice" to Hillary Clinton on financial reform "in two conversations, and more with an assistant."

But even Fortune magazine weighed in for Glass-Steagall today, publishing an article by regular contributor Eleanor Bloxham welcoming the Senate Glass-Steagall bill as "a long overdue stride toward reining Wall Street back in."

Bloxham describes how Glass-Steagall has become a defining issue in the Democratic presidential primaries, and warns Hillary Clinton that her failure to join Sanders and O’Malley in backing Glass-Steagall could be her downfall:

"If you are seeking election as a Democratic Party candidate, a failure to endorse Glass-Stegall could be a risky bet of its own—a gamble, perhaps, that money will trump voters in the upcoming Democratic primaries." Bloxham, a corporate governance expert who began her career in Wall Street before founding the Corporate Governance Alliance, then lays out what she calls the "many practical, boots-on-the-ground reasons Congress should pass it now."

The conservative Washington Examiner, for its part, trotted out two would-be "experts" to purvey stupidities about how Glass-Steagall cannot, will not, and should not work. The Examiner had to admit, however, that Glass-Steagall, while being revived by progressive activists and Democratic Presidential hopefuls, "is an idea that has support across the political spectrum. John McCain, R-Ariz, co-sponsored Warren’s bill. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has expressed support for it in the past, as has former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, voted against repealing Glass-Steagall in 1999."

What worries the Glass-Steagall opponents, is that it is the fighters of the LaRouche movement who are leading the drive for its reinstatement. Washington Examiner’s Joseph Lawler frets that "the most fanatical supporters of the law, however, are followers of Lyndon LaRouche, the fringe perennial political candidate whose views are difficult to categorize. It was an organizer with LaRouche PAC who interrupted Clinton during a speech on the economy last week to challenge her on Glass-Steagall."