Friday, November 29, 2013

Senator Warren Gains Glass-Steagall Allies in U.K. Parliament

The efforts of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act gained some adherents in the U.K. Parliament. During recent debate on the U.K. legislation on ring-fencing retail from investment banks, legislators had some nice things to say about Glass-Steagall.

Lord Lawson, a key member of the joint Banking Standards Commission, said that the Glass-Steagall Act worked in the United States for many, many years and it is no accident that serious problems emerged after it was repealed. Indeed, the Glass-Steagall Act would have worked for a great deal longer, he said, had not successive American Administrations been lobbied by the banks to introduce loopholes in one place and another. Similarly, Lord Barnett said that Glass-Steagall, which he called the separation regime in the United States, did not fail but succeeded for more than 60 years. It failed when the lobbyists in the banks eventually won, he noted. However, he continued, ``if we managed to introduce a UK form of Glass-Steagall, strengthened to prevent lobbyists succeeding, we will have achieved something that has never been achieved before.’’