Mass. Rep. Barney Frank, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, gave a rage-filled interview to CNBC's Maria Bartiromo July 26, responding to her question on whether Sandy Weill were right, with a sputtering, lisping, spitting howl that "This is not a useful time to be talking about [Glass-Steagall]. You can accomplish much of what Sandy Weill is talking about" with the Volcker Rule.
When Bartiromo said that no one is even clear on what the Volcker Rule is or how it's supposed to work, Frank became even more agitated, insisting that this is not true, and that it of course includes provisions that banks shouldn't be involved in non-lending activities. But as for bank separation, he said, growing more apoplectic by the minute as Bartiromo pressed him, "it's not good to do something so drastic." If Sandy Weill thought this was a good idea two years ago, he complained, "he should have fed it into the debate" about Dodd-Frank. Frank was beside himself by the time he finished the interview.
Recall that it was Bailout Barney who spoke from the floor of the House in 1999 in favor of repealing Glass-Steagall, and who now lies that Glass-Steagall "wouldn't have made any difference" to the ensuing global speculative bailout. Bob McTeer, former head of the Dallas Fed, spouted the same line in a July 25 article in Forbes entitled "Glass-Steagall Has Nothing to Do with the Financial Crisis," going so far as to claim that "this is the second crisis wrongly blamed on [the absence of] Glass-Steagall, the first being the Great Depression, which gave rise to it."