Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Baker: Glass-Steagall now, tomorrow and forever

Here's how Baker sums it up [emphasis mine]:

What is striking about the argument on re-instating Glass-Steagall is that there really is no downside. The banks argue that it will be inconvenient to separate their divisions, but companies sell off divisions all the time.

They also argue that foreign banks are not generally required to adhere to this sort of separation. This is in part true, but irrelevant.

Stronger regulations might lead us to do more business with foreign-owned banks since weaker regulations could give them some competitive edge. That should bother us as much as it does that we buy clothes and toys from Bangladesh and China.

If foreign governments want to subject themselves and their economies to greater risk as a result of bad financial regulation, that is not an argument for us to do the same.  Are we anxious to be the next Iceland or Cyprus?

By Dean Baker
August 5, 2013 | Al Jazeera

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