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Feb 18 / Elizabeth DiNovella

From the Archive: The Democrats Bow to Megabanks

Another gem from our archive.

(We’re busying working on a special issue to celebrate The Progressive’s 100th anniversary).

Sure, everyone remembers Ralph Nader’s impact on the 2000 election. But does anyone remember hearing him say this?

The Democrats Bow to Megabanks
By Ralph Nader
January 2000

Never underestimate the ability of Congress to repeat its mistakes. A decade ago, after it gambled and lost on deregulation, Congress was forced to launch a $500 billion taxpayer-financed bailout of the savings and loan industry. Congress has just rolled the deregulation dice again. This time the outcome may be even more costly.

Congress and the White House have come up with the granddaddy of all financial deregulation, the “Financial Services Modernization Act,” which whipped out the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and removed the major restrictions of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956. In so doing, Congress and Clinton have opened the door for banks, securities firms, insurance companies, and in some cases nonfinancial corporations to combine into a handful of giant conglomerates.

These conglomerates will be the financial equivalent of nuclear bombs. The explosion of even one could have a disastrous impact not only on the U.S. economy but on financial systems around the world.

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