July 11, 2013

Public Citizen Welcomes Warren-McCain 21st Century Reinstatement of Glass-Steagall

Statement of Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Analyst

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen applauds today’s introduction by U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) of a 21st century version of the Glass-Steagall Act – a little more than 80 years after President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking.

“History may mark 2013 as a progressive turning point in financial policy,” said Bartlett Naylor, Public Citizen’s financial policy advocate. “One of the Senate’s best minds on financial policy has joined with one of the Senate’s most experienced consensus builders. To the naysayers who believe Wall Street owns Washington, watch out.”

Today’s bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Angus King (I-Maine).

In June, Public Citizen documented the political debate surrounding the Glass-Steagall Act. The organization’s report shows the growing number of experts and banking veterans calling for its reinstatement. The document also shows the major movement among state legislatures formally calling on their representatives in Washington to reinstate Glass-Steagall.

Public Citizen also enthusiastically supports the stricter equity capital requirements in legislation introduced earlier this year by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.). The bill, the “Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act of 2013,” is designed to tackle the problem of too-big-to-fail banks and would boost the stability of the banking system if enacted.

“America deserves all the protection from reckless bankers that Washington can deliver,” said Naylor. “That means more capital from Brown-Vitter, activity restrictions from Glass-Steagall and the Volcker Rule, and ideally, size limits. The mega-banks are simply too mega.”

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