New York Post

“Ten years ago, the nation’s banking system collapsed, prompting a massive federal bailout that likely prevented a second Great Depression – but couldn’t contain the enormous instability that still plagues the American economy and which contains the seeds of a potential sequel….Unfortunately, policymakers still haven’t learned from past mistakes. In 1999, President Bill Clinton and Republicans in Congress passed a law that allowed big banks that hold deposits to fully merge with risk-taking Wall Street firms. The law put a stake through one of the most logical regulations ever passed – a Depression-era law called Glass-Steagall, which essentially said Wall Street firms can roll the dice all they want but the government isn’t going to allow these activities to infect commercial banks, which hold deposits that are insured by taxpayers. Amid the irrational exuberance of the boom years of the 1990s, the Berlin Wall that was Glass-Steagall came down. The ensuing finance behemoths set the stage for the crash and the massive bailouts of 2008, and more regulation….The banking system has its risks more concentrated than ever because a greater percentage of assets are held by fewer players than in 2008. Contagion will spread faster….Private-equity firms are growing as well, but government scrutiny of them isn’t. If history is any guide, when the PE shops and Blackrock get into serious trouble, they’ll be deemed Too Big To Fail. Lather, rinse, repeat.”

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