What ‘Bring Back Glass-Steagall’ Means to Left and Right
If I were a betting man, I’d give odds that Senator Elizabeth Warren, the liberal firebrand from Massachusetts, and Gary Cohn, the ex-president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now serving as the President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, have very different ideas about what it means to “bring back Glass-Steagall.” On Wednesday, Bloomberg’s Elizabeth Dexheimer broke the story that during a closed-door meeting, Warren, a fierce critic of the big banks, asked Cohn for his thoughts on Glass-Steagall, the 1933 law separating commercial banking from investment banking that was repealed in 1999…On the other hand, when Trump Administration officials like Cohn (and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) talk about bringing back Glass-Steagall, they have something else in mind. Yes, they also want to prevent future bailouts. But what they really want is to use Glass-Steagall as a way of “providing cover for other actions that could be characterized as ‘unduly favorable to Wall Street,'” as the banking analyst Karen Petrou wrote recently.