Hysteria About Glass-Steagall
Now Hits the White House
Aug. 22, 2013 (EIRNS)—A desperate and increasingly berserk President Obama summoned Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and other financial regulators to a closed-door White House meeting Aug. 19, to let them know his "sense of urgency" about getting the thousands of pages of the Dodd-Frank regulations finished, three years after the bankers' bill was put through Congress. The sense of urgency to get "these regulations under Wall Street reform implemented promptly" was conveyed to the media by the deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
As Treasury Secretary Jack Lew put it:
"If we get to the end of this year, and cannot, with an honest straight face, say that we've ended 'too big to fail,' we're going to have to look at other options, because the policy of Dodd-Frank and the policy of the administration is to end 'too big to fail.' "
But the elephant in the White House room was not Dodd-Frank or "too big to fail," but the growing momentum for Glass-Steagall.
Noted the New York Times Aug. 20,
"Some lawmakers also have expressed concern that the regulators are moving too slowly. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and several other senators have proposed new laws that would reinstate a firewall between banks and investment firms like those in the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act."
Reliable Washington sources confirm that Glass-Steagall was at the center of the discussion, as do other media accounts of the meeting. Thus the hysteria against Glass-Steagall's momentum, which was evident in the thuggery by Wall Street banks at the National Conference of State Legislatures last week to stop a Glass-Steagall resolution, is now reflected in the White House. As blogger Wolf Richter accurately wrote on the blog Zero Hedge recently, Glass-Steagall
"would be the biggest threat to bankers, their industry, their bonuses, their source of free money, their way of life, their egos, their religion even."