Suddenly, Everyone Is Talking About Breaking Up the Big Banks
Geithner Grilled on Too Big to Fail BanksAfter Sandy Weill said we should break up the big banks, congressmen and reporters are suddenly waking up from their stupor to ask tough questions.
For example, a reporter on CNBC asked Geithner about Weill’s statement:
Congressmen on The Hill questioning Tim Geithner had a new song to sing — ‘let’s take a look at Glass-Steagall’, a law repealed during the Clinton Administration that separated investment banking from retail banking.
The crazy thing is, this song was coming from both sides of the aisle.
Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) mentioned Weill’s comment in her opening statement to Geithner and that got the ball rolling. She said that his words were “absolutely huge,” and asked Geithner to write a report on how 2008 could have been prevented had Glass-Steagall been enacted at the time.
After that, member after member picked up the torch.
Representative Walter Jones (R-NC) said that he regretted two votes during his time as a Congressman — the Iraq War and repealing Glass-Steagall. “Isn’t it time to have a discussion and debate about reinstating Glass-Steagall,” he asked.
Michael Capuano (D-MA), a fiery member of this committee to be sure, said “funny how people who voted to repeal Glass-Steagall are now complaining that banks are too big.”
Again on the Republican side, New Mexico’s Steve Pearce started his questioning of Geithner by saying that he wanted to add his voice to Maloney’s when it came to getting a report on how Glass-Steagall would’ve made things different in 2008. He then asked Geithner, “why should the people of New Mexico trust you or your policies?”