Gamblers in pin-stripe suits
Oct 13, 2011
This is a very good news article showing how the current financial problem is rooted in the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. The Volcker Rule is now being implemented to control some of this banker-casino practice, but will it be too little, too late?
Using bank deposits to make risky investments, a process known as "proprietary trading," isn't new -- but for decades it was illegal. The Glass-Steagall Act, a law forcing banks to close their investment/brokerage wings, was passed in 1933, in the middle of the Great Depression. By driving a wedge between boring banking and dangerous, sexy investing, the law sought to stabilize the banking system, and reduce the rampant conflicts of interest that plagued it.
But after years of steadily chipping away at Glass-Steagall, a GOP-led Congress repealed the law in 1999. Banks once again began investing their customers' federally-insured deposits, and kept the winnings for themselves. One of the most disastrous bets was shaky mortgage-backed securities.
For the bankers, proprietary trading was a win-win situation: They were gambling with money that was insured by the FDIC, so if they lost too much, they could count on the government to make their depositors whole. And, since the banks themselves were necessary for American businesses, the government couldn't afford to let them fail. In other words, the roulette wheel was fully insured.
As the money train picked up steam, it also trickled down, in the form of ever-more-exotic subprime mortgages and ever-easier credit. This, in turn, pumped up the housing industry, which exploded with a steroidal burst of energy, pouring out houses for newly-approved homeowners eager to buy their little bit of the American dream. These new home buyers signed ever-shakier mortgages that got mixed into ever-riskier securities, that the banks then invested in. As the cycle gained steam, banks recorded record profits ... until the whole process came crashing down.
For a longer history of the Glass-Steagall Act and its final demise, see:
Take note of the key dates that eroded the Act. It started in 1986 when Alan Greenspan became the Fed Chairman. He cracked the door open, and then in 1996 the door was opened further. Then Citicorp merged with Travelers Insurance in anticipation of the repeal of Glass-Steagall.
Then GOP Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, conspired with Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and others in the Clinton administration to push the repeal on behalf of Citicorp in 1999. The bankers had politicians on both sides of the aisle in their pockets.
"Just days after the administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the repeal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill's chief lieutenant. The previous year, Weill had called Secretary Rubin to give him advance notice of the upcoming merger announcement. When Weill told Rubin he had some important news, the secretary reportedly quipped, "You're buying the government?"
So this whole process began in the year of Jubilee (the 120th Jubilee from Adam) from 1986-1987. The second big increase came in 1996, when we declared the Jubilee. The Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in November of 1999, shortly after Jesus' 2000th birthday and the birth of (prophetic) Manasseh.
This was the bankers' way of stealing money from the people. It was God's way of bringing down the whole banking system. The Twin Towers of Greed and Pride came down in 2001 as a sign of what was about to happen.
That is why I do not see any way out of this morass. In my view, Jehovah Tricky has used this banker greed to bring down Mystery Babylon.
Dr. Stephen Jones