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Glass-Steagall Key to Busting Up the ‘Bankers' Club’

In reviewing the newest book by Prof. Gerald Epstein, Busting the Bankers’ Club: Finance for the Rest of Us, Wall Street On Parade, run by Russ and Pam Martens, made again the case for Glass-Steagall, together with the repeal of the regressive Citizens United Supreme Court ruling of 2010.

They summarize: Epstein names the names of the “Bankers’ Club,” starting from its head, the Federal Reserve. A major component of the club is the Wall Street law firms that have written most of the deregulation laws, along with the fake regulation laws, issued by Congress. Other key members of the Club include the politicians who depend on the bankers for their campaign money. Fighting the Bankers’ Club are the “Club Busters,” the good guys: “nonprofit watchdogs, Better Markets, American for Financial Reform and the public banking advocacy groups across the country.”

However, they observe that “there are two critical impediments preventing the Club Busters (including Wall Street On Parade) from achieving a serious victory in rolling back the power of the Bankers’ Club and genuinely reforming Wall Street. Those critical impediments are the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 and the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010. They explain:

“The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (Banking Act of 1933) allowed Wall Street’s trading houses to control the trillions of dollars of life savings of mom and pop depositors. The repeal meant that global trading behemoths like JPMorgan were allowed to merge with federally-insured banks, back-stopped and thus subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer.”

Likewise, the Citizens United ruling established that there is no limit to what corporations can donate to political campaigns, thus opening “the floodgates to corporate money’s ability to control U.S. elections. Until Americans understand clearly that Glass-Steagall must be restored and Citizens United must be overturned, we’re all just pesky little bull dogs nipping at the heels of the bankster class.”