- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Glass - Steagall---R.I.P.

Posted by: Barry Stoller on November 03, 1999 at 13:22:26:

History will record this bill [repealing Glass - Steagall] as a landmark in the march toward the consolidation of financial power in America.(1)

Well, old Robert Rubin---newly installed on the ruling committee of the newly merged Citicorp & Travelers---must have knew something us 'average' Americans didn't know.

The last valuable act of the 'socialist' FDR administration---the legal separation of banking and insurance companies---has been gutted by the neoliberal maniacs.

The 1933 Glass - Steagall Act was one of the most important responses to the turn-of-the-century financial sector's unregulated capital concentration. Such concentration, as sensible people acknowledge, played a salient role in the 'oops---didn't mean it, guys' fiasco known less-than-discreetly as THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

Insert pictures of starving families here...

Yet here we are again!

Nothing remaining between insurance companies, banks, the stock market, and zillions of businesses---many of them mom & pop businesses---ripe for hostile takeovers.

Just like 1900 all over again.

As banking develops and becomes concentrated in a small number of establishments, the banks grow from modest middlemen into powerful monopolies having at their command almost the whole of the money capital of all of the capitalists and small businessmen and also the larger part of the means of production and sources of raw materials in any one country and in a number of countries. This transformation of numerous modest middlemen into a handful of monopolists is one of the fundamental processes in the growth of capitalism into capitalists imperialism...(2)


1. The Nation, 15 November 1999, p. 3.
2. Lenin, ‘Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism,’ Selected Works volume 1, 1970, p. 690.

Now watch the serious mergers commence!

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