Murray & Smith: Wall Street's People

Columnist Danny Westneat's article in the Seattle Times newspaper on January 25th about the economic crisis could hardly have come up with two better examples about why our nation is in this crisis than Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Adam Smith, although the article, ironically, mentions their self-congratulations in bailing out "Wall Street." These are two of the majority in Congress who voted for the Financial Services Modernization Act in 1999, which effectively started the banking deregulation frenzy and voided the "New Deal's" Glass-Steagall Act, which was a firewall between investment banking and commercial banking, and generally kept banks, brokerages, and insurance companies from being in each others' businesses.

As a result of this legally mandated breakdown, which was signed by the former president, Bill Clinton, the deregulation loosened rules that were meant to ensure the stability of the financial industry and helped to seriously weaken the U.S. banking sector. Instead of patting themselves on the back for bailing out a problem that they helped create, Murray and Smith should get busy resurrecting "Glass-Stegall" and stopping anymore tax money for Wall Street from going down a sinkhole.

Note: References for above-mentioned votes in Congress by Patty Murray and Adam Smith:

S.900 Conference Report
Senate Roll Call No. 354
106th Congress, 1st Session (Senate)

House passes H.R. 10
House Roll Call No. 276
106th Congress, 1st Session (House)

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