Global Glass-Steagall Response to Eurozone Collapse
July 3, 2012 • 8:05AM

Beyond the U.S., the debate over Glass-Steagall is hottest in Britain, where scandals around Barclays Bank and the LIBOR interest rates, have heightened awareness of the issue, not to mention the death-throes eminating from the continent beyond. In the Guardian, financial consultant Terry Smith titles his piece, "Traders are the Ruin of Banking." Not only were the arguments against bank separation always thin, he says, now, as a result of the scandals, they are "unanswerable." "The UK and the U.S. must enact a Glass-Steagall Act (the 1933 banking act passed in the wake of the Great Crash, which separated commercial and investment banking) and separate retail and investment banks. Ringfencing, as proposed by the Vickers commission, will not work."

While managing to never actually mention "Glass-Steagall" by name (the "rope" in the house of the hanged?) the Financial Times writes a defense of separation, by staff writer Johathan Ford. After first cautioning that "It may be too late to push the investment-banking genie back into the bottle," Ford says,."if this is to be tried, a rigid and formal separation between the two halves of the business will need to be reimposed. Sir John Vickers' report on the future of UK banking proposes they have internal firewalls from each other. Something more brutal may be required."

Financial commentator Hamish McRae of the Evening Standard writes, "Banking Collapse Will Bring Caution," in the wake of the LIBOR scandals. "In America the development of combined commercial and investment banking is relatively recent, mostly following the easing of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. The argument for a split in operations has usually been made on the grounds that depositors money — and the explicit or implicit guarantee of governments — should not be risked on casino banking."

Also notable is another well-thought-out argument for G-S by a reader of the Independent: "For sixty years, the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 in the United States separated commercial banks from investment firms... The liberalisation years of the Reagan and the Thatcher administrations of the 1980s, the repeal in 1999 of the Glass-Steagall Act... removed the protective wall surrounding commercial banks... To protect national saving, Glass-Steagall Act provisions should be reinstated."

Outside the English-speaking world: The LaRouche movement international call for Glass-Steagall was published yesterday on the Brazilian blog run by a group of professors from the University of Sao Paulo, ContrVersia, along with the announcement of the Cheminade-Zepp-LaRouche webcast next Sunday. The Canary Islands internet paper, Noticanarias, today published Lyndon LaRouche's June 29th statement on the collective insanity of world leaders, and two LPAC stories on London's 'Weimarista' drive and Austrian resistance. Last Friday, Noticanarias published Helga Zepp-LaRouche's Introduction to EIR's "There Is Life After the Euro!" report, as well as the Spain' chapter of that report.