The current financial crisis, and the resulting economic recession, can be traced in part to the 1999 agreement between President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress in deregulating the U.S. financial system.
The passage of the Gramm-Leach-Biley Act of 1999 did away with restrictions on the integration of banking, insurance and stock trading imposed by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. The banking, insurance and brokerage industry lobbyists had spent $300 million in campaign contributions, soft money contributions and lobbying of both Republicans and Democrats to secure this deregulation.
Additional pressure from the Bush administration upon Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to increase their funding of mortgage loans to lower-income groups led to the sub-prime loans.
Was the current financial debacle foreseeable and preventable? Yes. Virtually the same situation arose under the Reagan administration when the savings and loan industries were deregulated.
Who is ultimately responsible for this mess? The U.S. voters are. They consistently re-elect the same legislators that got us into this financial debacle.
Financial collapse, trillions of dollars of federal debt, corruption, deceit and lies. Don’t like all of the above? Look in the mirror.
Nine Mile Falls, Wash.
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