Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

In 1999 a 385 page piece of legislation known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was passed by the Congress and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton. The bill allowed commercial and investment banks to consolidate forming mergers between banks and insurance companies. It repealed most of the Glass-Steagall Act which prohibited a bank from offering investment, commercial banking, and insurance services. Historically the financial services industry was born. Every new beginning is some other beginning's end.

The final conference vote was 90-8 in the Senate and 362-57 in the House. Democrats agreed to support the bill only after Republicans agreed to strengthen provisions of the Community Reinvestment Act and address certain privacy concerns. It was a bipartisan with broad support. Yet, today in this financial crisis the Democrats are blaming George Bush and the Republicans are blaming the Democrats. Did I say that President Clinton signed the bill and not George Bush? Back to the story.

Governor Meyer in a speech in 2000 summed up the provision in the GLB creating financial holding companies: "To be an FHC, each subsidiary bank must be well-capitalized, be well-managed, and have a Consumer Reinvestment Act (CRA) rating of at least satisfactory." Did he really say well managed?

I believe this statement in that speech illustrates why we are in the mess today. "No better example of the problems of putting congressional intentions into action can be found than the CRA "sunshine" provisions in GLB."

The battlecry of the Democrats goes to the core of a Republican philosophy that less government is better. To the Dems this crisis justifies their beliefs that more government is better. Actually neither side is right. If you have the wrong people in government it never can be right. If you have the wrong people in the institutions created by GLB it never can be right. Non profit does not mean no profit and less government does not mean no government. If you believe in more government regulation just realize that the Income Tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf.

Governor Meyer further states "GLB, as with most complex banking legislation, is a blend of detailed, specific new banking rules and a broad outline to be filled in by the banking agencies. Such delegation in part reflects the agencies' expertise in addressing technical complexities." A governor talking about expertise and government in the same sentence. It's not criminal but it ought to be.

Analysis of an accident always reveals that the final result is due to a cascade of events that culmuinate in tragedy. If you are following the news about the monumental rescue to address today's financial crisis aka "Wall Street Bailout", you will see that once again the Dems want to tag on pet provisions to any bailout bill put forth in the Congress in the same way they did it with the passage of GLB. All of the pundits are citing GLB as the incubator of destruction causing today's crisis. Wall Street Bailout sounds like a movie title; Ben Stein could be the Federal Reserve Chairman. The bailout could be part of his hit Comedy Central quiz show "Win Ben Stein's Money." This way it will earn its rightful title "Bailout Bonanza."

But you have one Democrat who is outshining all by seeking an individual piece of legislation to thwart GLB. Yes, we are back to the Community Choice in Real Estate Act. Isn't it funny that the title is "Community Choice" but the effect of the bill is to ban not offer choice? Not so funny if you are the consumer. I wish I had a counter for this site. It would be rolling up the dollars the National Association of Realtors is paying..oops donating, my bad, uhh no wasting on Paul Kanjorski to help him in his already failed reelection attempt.

Who voted for Gramm-Leach-Bliley? Right again, Paul Kanjorski. What is his reward? $980,000.00 and counting. Oh that is wrong. That's only from one entity. Didnt' I write the financial services industry was born above? As of June 30,2008 he was already over $1 million in PAC money. Add on the $980,000.00 and Kanjorski will top the $4 million mark with all the PACs when this election ends on November 4th.

Paul Kanjorski voted for the war but he offers excuses; on May 10, 2007 he voted for redeployment in Iraq but states the surge won't work; he blames George Bush for lying about WMDs but never mentions the infamous Feith-Carney memo, yes Chris Carney who authored the memo with faulty information given to George Bush; he voted against Medicare Part D but he offers excuses; Cornerstone Technologies lost $10 million of taxpayer's money and he offers excuses not an apology; he voted for GLB, no excuses just efforts to get legislation passed to take care of his corporate buddies. He rallies behind the misperception that the Republicans represent big business. Paul, who are the PACS filling your campaign coffers? Mom and Pop, nahh didn't think so.

If Lou Barletta wasn't as well known as he is how would anyone be able to challenge incumbents and have a prayer to win? The financial services industry wants to drown each and every American. It was corporate greed by the wrong that got us into this mess and it is Paul Kanjorski who wants to see it stays that way. I guess that why they say the campaign contributions he is receiving come from the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate donations.

Gore Vidal wrote in 1969 "Unless drastic reforms are made we must accept the fact that every four years the United States will be up for sale, and the richest man or family will buy it." In this race it is every two years. And Helen Douglas was quoted in 1973 as saying "The first step toward liberation for any group is to use the power in hand...And the power in hand is the vote."

Take a little time and donate to Lou Barletta's campaign. Big or small, the size of the contribution doesn't matter. What does matter is that your voice will be heard. Lou Barletta is a one issue candidate. And that issue is courage; the courage to speak for you.

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