by Matt Taibbi
"Banks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever.
"Call it the loophole that destroyed the world. It's 1999, the tail end of the Clinton years. While the rest of America obsesses over Monica Lewinsky, Columbine and Mark McGwire's biceps, Congress is feverishly crafting what could yet prove to be one of the most transformative laws in the history of our economy – a law that would make possible a broader concentration of financial and industrial power than we've seen in more than a century.
But the crazy thing is, nobody at the time quite knew it. Most observers on the Hill thought the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest and boldest in a long line of deregulatory handouts to Wall Street that had begun in the Reagan years.
"...it would take half a generation – till now, basically – to understand the most explosive part of the bill, which additionally legalized new forms of monopoly, allowing banks to merge with heavy industry. A tiny provision in the bill also permitted commercial banks to delve into any activity that is "complementary to a financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally."
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-vampire-squid-strikes-again-the-mega-banks-most-devious-scam-yet-20140212#ixzz32M44bJKn
Jim Lerman's insight:
Yes, sports fans, an article on the economy from none other than Rolling Stone -- here, on my Scoop.it page. It's a rollicking indictment of big banks and big business. Behind the bombast, hyperbole, and muck racking do take note of the trenchant analysis of how, due to the deregulation mania that rose to such prominence in the Reagan administration, economic power has become much more concentrated and monopolistic.
This piece is a good roadmap for understanding better at least some of what is going on in the world today.